A definition of Safeguarding

Safeguarding is the term we use to describe the action taken to promote the welfare of individuals who are vulnerable and the action we take to protect them from harm and abuse of all kinds. The term Safeguarding is applied to work with both children and adults. Safeguarding requires a proactive approach and places equal importance on the promotion of welfare and protection from abuse. It is essentially an approach that states we all have the right to feel safe all of the time and that an individual’s safety should be guarded well. Further it implies that we have a responsibility to each other in promoting safety and in challenging and preventing abuse.

The Christian Context

Bishop Edward King, who was diocesan Bishop here in Lincoln from 1885 to 1910 is often quoted as saying “what the church needs is more Christ like Christians!” As Christians we are called to love one another and to seek out, support, protect and advocate for those who are vulnerable.

In creating humankind in his likeness God designed us to live in community. When one suffers we all suffer. As a Christian community we are all made poorer by every incidence of abuse. When we act to seek justice and prevent harm and stand alongside those who suffer, we also experience transformation through grace. We become better people and our churches become better places. It is our hope that the churches of Lincolnshire will truly be places where healing and wholeness can be found, a place where we can act as a Christ like enabling ‘friend’ to those in need.

Diocesan Commitment

The Diocese of Lincoln is committed to ensuring that the very best practice in relation to safeguarding is delivered across the diocese, We promote, without question, the working principle that Safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility. There is no excuse for anyone within the Church not to take very seriously their duties in respect of promoting the welfare and protection of anyone, child or adult, who is vulnerable.

The diocese has a team of professionally qualified and dedicated safeguarding professionals who provide specialist advice, confidential support to parishes and to individuals, approved safeguarding training, qualified risk assessment and support to allegations management processes across the whole diocese.

The Diocesan Safeguarding Team consists of:

Debbie Johnson, Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser: 01522 50 40 81/07712 321 361

Penny Turner, Deputy Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser: 01522 50 40 80/07432 522 412

Gemma Marks-Good, Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advocate (IDSVA) : 01522 50 40 79

Lucy Russell, Safeguarding Training Coordinator: 01522 50 40 57

Kate Mitchell, Safeguarding Team Administrator: 01522 50 40 68

Roles explained

IDSVA. She will offer a listening ear and appropriate advice to individuals who want to tell someone about abuse they have personally experienced or have personally become aware of. Gemma can help individuals to access available support services that address both short and long term needs and assist them through the criminal justice system if required or to further explore survivor/victim justice options. Gemma offers advice and support to the Bishop and his senior staff, clergy and church officers about all aspects of abuse within a church context. Her role is further defined within the Home Office guidance 2017.

DSA We have two safeguarding advisers. They offer advice and support to the Bishop and his senior staff, all the clergy and all church officers about all aspects of safeguarding, including where there are allegations against clergy or church officers. The DSAs are responsible for assisting parishes who are supporting known offenders. They are responsible for the statutory safeguarding functions within the Diocese and their roles are defined within the DSA regulations 2017.

Please remember that if you have a serious concern about a child or adult at risk you should contact the Police or the local authority safeguarding team in your area. Please note: you do not need to speak to the diocesan safeguarding team first if the matter is urgent.