Policy on the Safeguarding of Adults in the Church


This policy was re-adopted by the Church of St Mary the Virgin Sheering at a Parochial Church Council meeting held on 7 April 2014.


The policy will be reviewed each year to monitor the progress which has been achieved.


1. We recognise that everyone has different levels of vulnerability and that each of us may be regarded as vulnerable at some time in our lives.


2. As members of this parish we commit ourselves to respectful pastoral care for all adults to whom we minister.


3. We commit ourselves to the safeguarding of people who may be vulnerable, ensuring their well-being in the life of this church.


4. We commit ourselves to promoting safe practice by those in positions of trust.


5. The parish commits itself to promoting the inclusion and empowerment of people who may be vulnerable.


6. It is the responsibility of each of us to prevent the physical, emotional, sexual, financial and spiritual abuse of vulnerable people and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.


7. We undertake to exercise proper care in the appointment and selection of those who will work with people who may be vulnerable.


8. The parish is committed to supporting, resourcing, training and regularly reviewing those who undertake work amongst people who may be vulnerable.


9. The parish adopts the guidelines of the Church of England and the Diocese of Chelmsford.


10. Each person who works with vulnerable people will agree to abide by these recommendations and the guidelines established by this church.





Parochial Church Council

St Mary the Virgin, Sheering




Definitions for use with those who may be vulnerable


In order to bring into focus those people for whom the Church should have a particular care, the following working definition may be helpful:


Any adult aged 18 or over who, by reason of mental or other disability, age, illness or other situation is permanently or for the time being unable to take care of him or herself, or to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.


A narrower definition is in use for the particular purpose of applying to the Criminal Records Bureau, but it should be noted that the latest government guidance on Safeguarding Adults does not speak of ‘vulnerable adults’, which puts the onus on the victim of abuse, but rather concentrates on enabling adults to ‘retain independence, well being and choice and to access their human right to live a life that is free from abuse and neglect’.


A definition of mistreatment, abuse and harm

Mistreatment is defined in No Secrets as ‘a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons’.   In a church context it could be any misuse of a pastoral or managerial relationship, from the most serious to less severe behaviour, which lies at its root. The term covers abuse, bullying and harassment. These categories are not watertight and can merge into one another. Harm is what results from mistreatment or abuse.