Serving God, Serving our Community

Safeguarding at St Mary’s

At St Mary’s we take seriously our commitment to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all in our church family, especially children and potentially vulnerable adults. Those individuals who organise, oversee and lead activities initiated or supported by the church also need to be protected from potential harm.

With these principles in mind, we are careful to adhere to the safeguarding guidelines laid down by the House of Bishops and by Canterbury Diocese. These include policies concerning safe recruitment of workers in the church, paid and unpaid, checking via the Disclosure and Barring Service of those in positions of responsibility, risk assessment procedures, safe working practices and regular training. This training, delivered online or by representatives of the Diocese, varies according to the individual’s role. Sessions are attended by clergy, wardens and PCC members, the Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinators and Disclosure Officer, and others in key roles within the church.

Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator (children): Zoe Murton

Safeguarding Co-ordinator (vulnerable adults) & Parish Disclosure Officer: James Highwood

Churchwardens: James Highwood, John Stansfeld

This is the Parish Safeguarding Policy Statement.

Here is our policy on Domestic Abuse.

Here is a list of telephone numbers of where to get help and advice on Domestic Abuse.

Useful Links:

You can find contact details for the Diocesan safeguarding personnel, and Kent County Council Services by following this link.

You can read the Church of England Parish Safeguarding Handbook by following this link.

Here is a link to the website for the NSPCC which provides a wide range of information on child abuse and what to do about it.

Here is a link to Childline  which is a helpline for any young people in need and this is the free number to call them on: 0800 1111.


Helplines for further support:

  • Action on Elder Abuse –                                                                            0808 808 8141
  • Domestic Violence: National 24-hour helpline                                    0808 2000 247
  • NAPAC – support and advice for adult survivors of childhood abuse 0808 801 0331
  • Stop it Now – preventing child sexual abuse                                       0808 1000 900
  • Cruse – bereavement helpline                                                                0808 808 1677
  • Family Lives – for parents/carers and young people                         0808 800 2222
  • MACSAS – for people who have been abused by church officers   0808 801 0340
  • Samaritans – for people struggling to cope and needing someone to talk to 116123

Sources of support for victims of abuse and their families:

Authorised Listeners – qualified counsellors and practitioners – are available free of charge to anyone who needs to talk about current or past abuse. Please contact a Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, eg Paul Brightwell on 07398 009951.

Other websites: [violence against women] [Social Care Institute for Excellence] [child exploitation and online protection]

Church of England website:

House of Bishops website: