That word… Safeguarding

It is a risky thing to title an article ”Safeguarding.” If you haven’t already switched off, I am genuinely delighted to announce that we are going to be reviewing our Policies and Procedures around this important area of church life in the new future!

St Johns and St Mary’s enjoy a beautiful, thriving, diverse community. Our hope and prayer is that this will continue and grow. We want to make sure that everyone feels welcome, safe and secure when they come to church or use the buildings. The Emphasis is on everyone: children, adults, the elderly, strangers, visitors, families with all sorts of backgrounds, experiences and capacities… we want to be ready to welcome people from all walks of life. Safeguarding gives us a framework to care for the vulnerable in our midst. Churches are unique settings – where else in life do you get such a diverse group of people meeting together regularly?

The Diocese of London has excellent guidelines on safeguarding. They offer training, support and suggestions on how we can best operate as a community. Currently, Rachel Burnell has taken on the role of Safeguarding Officer as our Youth and Children’s Team Leader and she brings great experience in this area as a former teacher. We will address some of these issues in a “Safeguarding Sunday” All Age service at St John’s on February 4th.

There are things that we can do to improve our current set up. If you agree, we would love to hear from you! If you spot ways we can make small (or big!) improvements we could be making around kids groups, access to church, teas and coffee in the hall (or whatever!), please email me your ideas and suggestions at Some changes we will be able to implement quickly and easily, other changes might take longer. But, let’s go on this journey together.

Rachel Maclure