Promoting a Safer Church

In the Diocese of Lincoln

Confident disciples in the joyful service of their church and community actively promote the welfare of all who are vulnerable. We can work together to prevent harm from occurring. This is Safeguarding.

The House of Bishop’s Safeguarding Policies were adopted by the Diocese of Lincoln at the Diocesan Synod 3rd November 2018. The Diocese renewed its commitment to follow all of the updated House of Bishop’s safeguarding policies and practice guidance at Diocesan Synod on 3rd November 2018.

The Overarching Safeguarding Policy Document Promoting a Safer Church can be found at

Synod mandated the adoption of The Parish Safeguarding Handbook across all Church of England contexts in Greater Lincolnshire to provide the cornerstone to safer working practice in our churches and safer care for all God’s People.

Synod agreed the principle that the care and protection of everyone involved in Church activities is the responsibility of the whole Church in Greater Lincolnshire. Everybody who participates in the life of the Church has a role to play in promoting a safer Church for all and in preventing harm to the vulnerable.

Under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016, all licensed clergy, bishops, archdeacons, licensed readers and lay workers, churchwardens and PCCs must have ‘due regard’ to safeguarding guidance issued by the House of Bishops (this will include both policy and practice guidance). A duty to have ‘due regard’ to guidance means that the person under the duty is not free to disregard it but is required to follow it unless there are cogent reasons for not doing so. (‘Cogent’ for this purpose means clear, logical and convincing.) Failure by clergy to comply with the duty imposed by the 2016 Measure may result in disciplinary action. (Church of England Safeguarding Children Young People, Adults 2017)

For the purposes of all safeguarding guidance and all Church policy a child is anyone under the age of eighteen years.

For the purpose of Church policy and guidance the definition of “vulnerable adult” is contained in the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016. That defines a ‘‘vulnerable adult’ as a person aged 18 or over whose ability to protect himself or herself from violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation is significantly impaired through physical or mental disability or illness, old age, emotional fragility or distress, or otherwise; and for that purpose, the reference to being impaired is to being temporarily or indefinitely impaired’. Please note that the Care and Support Statutory Guidance issued under the Care Act 2014 (14.2) by the Department of Health uses the term ‘adults experiencing, or at risk of abuse or neglect’ in order to assess eligibility to statutory social care services.

However, the term ‘vulnerable adult’ is used in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and other legislation in relation to eligibility for criminal record checks and as a result appears in DBS guidance.

For advice on all safeguarding issues including allegations or suspicions of abuse contact:

To improve the efficiency of responses to safeguarding and DBS enquiries, thirtyone:eight will be working in partnership with us. Please contact them in the first instance for all safeguarding enquiries or to report a safeguarding concern: 0303 003 11 11 (select option 2). Thirtyone:eight are an independent Christian charity who will be supporting the Diocesan Safeguarding Team to protect vulnerable people from abuse in the Diocese of Lincoln.

For general enquiries please contact the team secretary, Kate, at or 01522 504068

Training enquiries should continue to be directed to our training coordinator, Lucy, at or 01522 504057

Reporting an allegation or concern but are unable to reach thirtyone:eight or the Diocesan Safeguarding Team:

If your matter is emergency please contact the police on 999 or 101,

or contact your local authority: Lincolnshire County Council, North East Lincolnshire County Council, North Lincolnshire Council.