I am delighted to tell you about an exciting new development which will have benefits and implications for all of our worshipping communities. The Diocese will be working in partnership with the NSPCC to review and improve safeguarding practices and support in parishes and the Diocese.
I am very grateful for the commitment and dedication of our voluntary Bishop’s Advisers on Child Protection, John Nixson and Rina Kaur, who have rendered sterling service in ensuring the safety and well-being of children in our Church communities. However, with increasing demands and requirements in safeguarding, we need to further develop the service and support that we offer parishes, especially in the areas of guidance and training.
The aim of this project with the NSPCC is to ensure the necessary safeguards are in place for all the more vulnerable members of our communities. Robust guidance, training and support will be provided for all who have roles with and responsibility for children, young people and adults in need of safeguarding. We and the NSPCC are making a huge commitment to this vital work which is essential to support our growing ministry and our legal and pastoral responsibilities. I fully expect and hope that all our clergy and lay leaders will give this work their wholehearted support.
Gill Camina, senior consultant with the NSPCC’s Child Protection Consultancy Services will be leading this work. She and other NSPCC consultants will be in contact with you and your lay officers and children’s and youth workers over the coming months. They would very much like to gain your views and those of children’s advocates, children and youth workers and members of congregations within your worshipping community and may need your assistance to facilitate this. If you (or your colleagues and parishioners) are invited to meet with NSPCC representatives, to attend a focus group or help them with questionnaires please make this a priority. The intention is to gain a fuller understanding of the practices, traditions, strengths and challenges faced by each of our diverse worshipping communities to ensure that the work undertaken reflects the needs of the Diocese as a whole.
In the near future Gill will be distributing a questionnaire which she would like to invite members of congregations to complete, and it would be very helpful if you would draw this to the attention of your congregations, and distribute copies of this letter, so that people are fully informed.
If you have any questions, please either contact Sheryl Kent at the Safeguarding Office on 020 7932 1224, or Gill Camina on 07967 612757 and they will do all they can to respond helpfully.