Introduction to Safeguarding

St Mary's strives to be A Safe Church, not only as directed by The Diocese of Southwark, but as the prime duty of care to our congregation and church community. Being A Safe Church means that we follow Church of England Safeguarding Policies. By promoting welfare and a safe environment, creating a framework where risks of harm to welfare are minimised by taking action to address any concerns.

Practically, this means that the Parish Safeguarding Officers (PSO's) work together with the incumbents, church wardens, PCC, Hall Managers and Diocesan Employees, to ensure:

  • Safe recruitment
    • DBS checks
    • Application and reference forms
  • Risk Assessments of Buildings and Activities
  • Adequate Insurance Cover
  • Annual Safeguarding Audit: review of policies and procedures annually
  • Management and monitoring of those who pose risk
  • Handle complaints
  • Communication; information sharing and record keeping
  • Observation of confidentiality boundaries and consent
  • Training and safeguarding education

DBS Application Procedures

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.

At St Mary's all employees and volunteers that work with children and/or potentially vulnerable adults are required to apply for a DBS certificate in the name of St Mary's. We work with The Diocese and Access Personal Checking Services Ltd (APCS) to process our applications.

If you are new to working with us or would like to volunteer at for example Sunday School, Creche, Rafters, Bell Ringing, Tuesday Lunch or other activities with children or potentially vulnerable adults please contact our PSO Pauline Bakker to apply for or renew a DBS certificate.

For assistance with online applications at APCS: or DBS Administrator Uzma Osinibi at The Diocesan Safeguarding Team .

Please note that without valid St Mary's DBS certificate we cannot allow anyone to volunteer working with vulnerable/children's groups.


Best practice for safeguarding is prevention. There are specific responsibilities for certain roles within the church, please make sure that you are aware of and act by those.

Parish Safeguarding Officer:

  • 'Eyes and ears'
  • Communicate with officers, congregation, Diocese Safeguarding Advisor
  • Report to PCC - prevention/protection
  • Recruit Safely, including DBS checks
  • Ensure volunteers and paid workers are trained


  • Represent PCC
  • Check Insurance
  • Link with Health and Safety
  • Complete Archdeacon's' Articles of Enquiry

Youth/Children/Adult Coordinators:

  • Implement Sound Practice (risk assessments, transport, attendance..)
  • Listen to other workers
  • Tell PSO/vicar of concerns
  • Induct and train others

Template Forms

Template form for:

Complaints and Grievances Procedure

A Safe Church – Diocesan Handbook

For any queries you may have with regards to safeguarding policies and guidelines there is a copy of 'A Safe Church' handbook available in the Church Office. An electronic copy is available on the Diocesan website.

All Church Wardens and volunteer leaders should also be familiar with this policy:

Training and Courses run by the Diocese of Southwark

The Diocese has dedicated safeguarding training department. We intend to periodically invite the Diocese training team to host appropriate training sessions at St Mary's. If you are in a role which requires you to attend training and keep up to date with your training levels, you can book your course directly at

Safeguarding Contact Information and Advice

Please click here for details of who to contact if you have safeguarding concerns.