Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults
The Catholic Diocese of East Anglia is fully committed to safeguarding in the Church in order to ensure that we maintain peaceful, loving and safe Christian communities in which everybody, particularly young and vulnerable members, can confidently participate.
We have therefore eagerly adopted and implemented the policies and procedures of the Catholic Church of England and Wales, which is committed to safeguarding as an integral part of the life and ministry of the Church.
We recognise the personal dignity and rights of all vulnerable people, to whom we have a special responsibility. The Diocese, parishes and individuals in it will: take all appropriate steps to maintain a safe environment for all; practice fully and positively Christ’s Ministry towards children, young people and vulnerable adults; and will respond sensitively and compassionately to their needs in order to help keep them safe from harm.
We will liaise closely with statutory agencies to ensure that we: promptly and properly respond to any allegations of abuse; appropriately support any victims; and hold perpetrators to account.
-Bishop Alan Hopes
Safeguarding and the Catholic Church in England and Wales
The Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) has been established to advise on and audit the work of the Catholic Church in England and Wales as it develops the highest calibre regime of safeguarding.
In 2023, a Safeguarding Audit of the Diocese of East Anglia was published by CSSA, click here to download the Executive Summary.
All allegations of abuse reported to the Church in England and Wales are immediately passed on to the police. The Church works closely and cooperatively with the statutory authorities as these allegations are investigated. Following this investigation, which follows UK law, the Church conducts its own internal investigation, following Canon Law.
The safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults is at the heart of the Church’s mission. There is no place in the Church, or indeed society, for abuse – a grievous crime which can affect people for their entire lives.
Victims come first. This has not always been the case. The Church deeply regrets all instances of sexual abuse and the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults, and accepts that grave mistakes were made in the past.
Safeguarding and the Diocese of East Anglia
This Diocese has a long history of commitment to the safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults, which was reinforced by following the recommendations of the national review of child protection conducted by Lord Nolan in 2001: “The Nolan Report – A Programme for Action”. The Nolan recommendations were reviewed and updated in 2007, as Nolan recommended, by a new Commission chaired by Baroness Cumberlege: “The Cumberlege Commission – Safeguarding with Confidence”.
Following these national developments, the Diocese has developed:
1. a structure of a Safeguarding Commission, supporting staff and volunteers;
2. procedures and systems to implement the policies as set out in these pages.
3. A Safeguarding Communications Plan to underline our commitment to being open, honest and transparent. Click here to download it.
Helpline contact details
Action on Elder Abuse Helpline: 0808 808 8141 (lines open Monday to Friday: 9.00am to 5.00pm)
Childline: 0800 1111 (phone if you are a child or young person and are worried about anything – lines open 24 hours)
Cruse (bereavement helpline): 0800 808 1677 (lines open Mondays and Fridays: 9.30am to 5.00pm (excluding Bank Holidays); Tuesday to Thursday: 9.30am to 8.00pm)
NAPAC – National Association for People Abused in Childhood: 0808 801 0331 (support for adults abused as children – lines open Monday to Thursday: 10.00am to 9.00pm; Fridays: 10.00am to 6.00pm)
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse – lines open 24 hours)
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (phone if you are worried about a child – lines open 24 hours)
Samaritans Helpline: 116 123 (phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to – lines open 24 hours)
Stop It Now: 0808 1000 900 (preventing child sexual abuse – lines open Monday to Thursday: 9.00am to 9.00pm (excluding Bank Holidays); Fridays: 9.00am to 5.00pm)
Survivors Trust: 08088 010 818 (support for men who have experienced sexual assault or rape – lines open Mondays and Wednesdays: 10.00am to 7:30pm; Tuesdays: 10.00am to 12.00 noon and 1:30pm to 7:30pm; Thursdays: 10.00am to 4.00pm and 5.00pm to 7:30pm; Fridays: 10.00am to 2.00pm)
Zoom Presentation for stewards and volunteers involved in the re-opening of churches in East Anglia
It includes awareness of the national guidance and some safeguarding information, especially ‘how to respond to a safeguarding concern’.
The Diocese of East Anglia Whistleblowing Policy is intended to encourage and enable anyone with a serious concern, to raise those concerns without fear of victimisation, subsequent discrimination or disadvantage.
This policy covers employees, office holders, volunteers and others who have serious concerns about safeguarding practice within the diocese, another diocese or religious congregation; and it encourages them to come forward and voice those concerns.