Safeguarding our children and vulnerable adults is a vitally important mission of our church and it is imperative that we realise “Safeguarding” is not imposed on the Church by the secular world but that Safeguarding is integral to our ministry – support/care and protection is central to Gospel Teaching: so we look to the Church’s own teaching to ground Safeguarding in the day today life of our faith.
In the Parish of St Lawrence, alongside St Paul’s in Yate we aim to ensure all are safe and welcome in our community. We do this by ensuring everyone realises they have a duty to ensure the safety of each other, especially our children and vulnerable adults and trying to embed a culture of Safeguarding at all levels of the parish structure, seeing Safeguarding as nurture and a ministry of care.
On a practical side this involves: ensuring all wishing and volunteering to work with children and vulnerable parishioner have a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS), which includes an identity check, providing training so parishioners have a good awareness of safeguarding and how to integrate it into their volunteering role, exploring our parish practices to make sure they are safeguarding friendly and by undertaking training ourselves.
As the Parish Safeguarding Representative, I carry out safeguarding checks and support Father Jim in all safeguarding activities. We also have a confidential email system for any safeguarding issues (including for those seeking advice) and support our parish organisations to ensure Safeguarding has a high priority within their work.
My name is Carol Lawler and I am the Parish safeguarding Representative, you will find my contact details on the parish bulletin as well as here below. I am always willing to listen and to help if you have any questions or concerns on Safeguarding and if I don’t know the answer I can always find someone who does!
e-mail: PSR.email@example.com Carol Lawler 01454 317077
What is Safeguarding?
“Being loved and being kept safe go to the very core of the Church’s Ministry to children and vulnerable adults. The work of safeguarding has to be seen within the overall mission of the Church. As she seeks to protect the vulnerable and weak, the Church needs to ‘act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God’. (Micah 6:8).
It is a ministry of love and healing and seeks justice for all”.
The Cumberlege Commission 2007
As Catholics, we recognise that every human being has a value and dignity which we acknowledge as coming directly from God’s creation of male and female in his own image and likeness. This implies a duty to value all people and therefore to support them and protect them from harm.In the Catholic Church, this is demonstrated by the provision of carefully planned activities for children, young people and adults; supporting families under stress; caring for those hurt by abuse, ministering to and managing those who have caused harm. It is because of these varied ministries that we need to provide a safe environment for all which promotes and supports their wellbeing. This will include carefully selecting and appointing those who work with children, young people or vulnerable adults and responding robustly where concerns arise.All volunteers and employees working with vulnerable groups must agree to adhere to the Catholic Church’s National Safeguarding Policies before they can be appointed. We are fortunate to have so many people willing and able to help up fulfil our ministry.There is no doubt that revelations in recent years concerning abuse by those within the Church has caused shock, sadness and great pain to so many. The credibility of the Church in the wider community has been undermined.The Church is committed to learning from past failures, to sharing best practice and to exploring ways of collaborating with others to ensure our Church is a community where all members will be kept safe and feel loved.“As a Church we have a responsibility to ensure safe environments for all our children, young people and vulnerable adults. We have a duty and ministry to heal broken lives and give new hope to those who have been sinned against”.
Bishop Declan’s Pastoral letter 18th February 2012
Our parish recognises and follows the CSAS (Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service ) policies and procedures: https://www.csas.uk.net/
Our diocese’s safeguarding details can be found here: https://cliftondiocese.com/departments/safeguarding/
The Clifton diocesan Safeguarding team and documents can be found here: www.cliftondiocese.com/departments/safeguarding