Each parish has now received an electronic copy of the nationally produced Parish Safeguarding Handbook.
This handbook outlines the safeguarding responsibilities for parishes based on the House of Bishops Safeguarding Policies and Practice Guidance.
As a result the duty to have due regard applies to this handbook i.e. it needs to be followed by all church officers and failure to do so by clergy could lead to disciplinary action.
So its an important building block in ensuring our safeguarding practice in parishes is a good as it can be.
It will be for each parish to determine how they want to use the handbook but it is a resource to be used regularly, not something to be noted and then forgotten about.
There will be more resources provided to support implementation e.g. a pocket safeguarding guide, a safeguarding contact card and a parish resource pack - these should be available in September.
There is a policy poster available on the Church of England website that can be printed off and put on notice boards. Do encourage your church to display one.
We were one of the dioceses consulted about the draft Parish Safeguarding Handbook, and some of our current Diocesan handbook Towards a Safer Church was used to inform this new publication.
We will be getting a new website shortly and the safeguarding information will be updated to reflect this welcome development - more of that next time.
If you have any feedback on the Parish Safeguarding Handbook wed like to hear from you or if you have any safeguarding concerns please contact either Ruth Rogan at firstname.lastname@example.org and 07825 167016 or Andrew Grant at email@example.com and 07741 633670.