Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

Martham Parish Churches, the Benefice of Martham, Repps, Thurne and Clippesby, is committed to safeguarding everyone, but particularly those who are vulnerable adults and all children and young people, and we expect everyone, whether a regular or a visitor, to share this commitment.

Reporting a Safeguarding Concern

Signs and Symptoms of abuse are:

  • Neglect, i.e. regularly unfed or unkempt.
  • Sexual abuse, i.e. talk about sex in an inappropriate way for their age.
  • Physical abuse, i.e. bruises or other injuries
  • Emotional abuse, i.e. talk about violence at home or being told that they are not wanted.

There are only a few examples.  It is not the responsibility of regulars or visitors to form judgements or to make enquiries, but simply to listen and to notice. 

If anyone has concerns, then they should not ask questions of the people that they are concerned about, but write these concerns down immediately, stating the reason why they have these concerns, what was seen, what was heard, and this should include the date and time of when the concerns were aroused and when these were written down. 

The person should then contact our Parish Safeguarding Officer, Mr Graham Bircham as soon as realistically possible on 01493 748302.  If the person fears that someone is in imminent harm then they should call 999 or 0808 800 5000 (NSPCC Helpline) and then inform the Parish Safeguarding Officer.  Should the concern be that our Safeguarding Officer is the instigator then the person with the concern should write these down as detailed above but contact the Acting Team Rector, the Revd Jo Wood on 07399 539159. 

Graham Bircham, the Parish Safeguarding Officer.

Graham Bircham, the Parish Safeguarding Officer.

Other useful contacts:

  • NSPCC Helpline 0800 802020
  • Childline 0800 1111
  • Harbour Centre (Sexual Assault Referral Centre) Norfolk 01603 276381
  • Refuge, Domestic abuse (women and men) 020 7395 7771
  • MACSAS (Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors) 0808 801 0340
  • NAPAC (National Association for People Abused in Childhood) 0808 801 0331
  • The Diocese of Norwich 

Our Commitment

As we believe that Jesus came so that we might have life in its fullness (John 10:10), we believe that any form of abuse is contrary to the life that God desires for us.  Therefore, Safeguarding is at the heart of our Christian faith. 

Safeguarding is the action we take to promote a safer culture within our churches.  We have a Safeguarding Policy and we are committed to respectful pastoral ministry to all adults and the safeguarding and protection of vulnerable people.

Our policy is to:

  • Offer pastoral care to all those affected by abuse and allegations of abuse
  • Offer ministry to those known to have offended against a vulnerable person
  • Carefully select and train those with formal pastoral responsibilities or any responsibility relating to vulnerable adults and children
  • Respond promptly to any safeguarding concern or allegation

As a consequence of our policy, this means that everyone who has a position of responsibility, whether the priests or lay ministers or churchwardens or members of the church councils, along with anyone who take part in any ministry to vulnerable adults or children, receive a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and training relevant to their responsibility.

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