Safeguarding Season

To be safe asks of others that they keep you safe.” Bishop Simon

Between Safeguarding Sunday on the 10 October, and the day that has been designated as All Survivors’ Day, 3rd November, along with Rochester Cathedral, we’ll be marking a period of time to focus on, and raise awareness of, a number of safeguarding issues that have implications for everyone.  
 

3 simple steps to get involved

Here are three simple things you can do to engage with the season:

  1. Download the Safeguarding Sunday materials from thirtyone:eight. Let us know if you will be taking part. Email: communications@rochester.anglican.org
  2. Register your interest in receiving our ‘What safeguarding means to me’ films for use in your church or other setting. Sign up here
  3. Follow us (Facebook: @CofERochester / Twitter: @SeeofRochester) and the Cathedral (Facebook: @RochesterCathedral / Twitter: @RochesterCathed) on social media to follow our awareness raising campaign, We'll be updating this page with information as the Season progresses.
     

What the season is about

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

This Season is about starting positive conversations around safeguarding. The more we talk about safeguarding, the more it will become embedded in the way we work, worship and behave. This can only be a good thing.

It will include an awareness campaign on social media, signposting to information and support organisations around issues such as:

  • church-context abuse;
  • gender-based violence;
  • modern slavery,
  • neglect or abuse of elderly people;
  • financial exploitation of vulnerable people;
  • peer on peer abuse; and,
  • the varied contexts in which someone of any age can find themselves a victim of abuse.

It will also draw attention to the needs - and the courage - of victims and survivors of abuse who are living with the scars and damage caused by abuse, but who have been brave enough to speak out against their abusers.

For this reason, we are very grateful to have had the involvement of a number of victim and survivor groups to help with the planning of the season, to ensure that the voices of those who have been abused are heard.
 

Why talking about safeguarding is important

Bishop Simon says the Safeguarding Season is part of our commitment to creating a positive culture around safeguarding across the Diocese:

To be safe asks of others that they keep you safe. Sadly, the Church has a long and shameful history of failure when it comes to protecting the vulnerable in its midst.

“This Safeguarding Season is a small but important step we are taking towards changing the view that safeguarding is something to be relegated to a tick box exercise.

“Rather it is something we should do joyfully as a sign of mutual care and concern for one another, and as a demonstration of our understanding that everyone is valued in the sight of God.

“I am deeply grateful to those victim and survivor groups who have worked with us to make this Season possible and would encourage churches to engage with the Season where they can.”
 

Resources and Events

As well as a series of films exploring what safeguarding means to individuals from a range of church roles, there will be a series of events hosted by the Cathedral.

These will include:

  • A ‘LOUDfence’ on the railings around the Cathedral, where anyone may pause to attach a ribbon, message, or to pray. (Available from 10 October).
  • A Service of Lament will take place on 27 October at 5.30pm in the Cathedral to which all are welcome.
  • A seminar exploring theological issues around safeguarding is planned for 22 October..
  • An event for survivors and victims to attend if they wish. This is being faciliated by Survivors Voices - please contact Jane at www.survivorsvoices.org or connect@survivorsvoices.org.

     

Where to get support

Aware that some of the issues that will be reflected upon may be a trigger for some, anyone affected is encouraged to contact the Diocese’s Safeguarding Team.

In addition, Safe Spaces is an independent service supporting survivors of church-related abuse. It is free to access via telephone - 0300 303 1056 (answerphone available outside of opening times), email - safespaces@victimsupport.org, or web-chat via www.safespacesenglandandwales.org.uk/

A list of helplines offer support on a range of issues can be found on the Church of England’s website at: www.churchofengland.org/safeguarding/reporting-abuse-and-finding-support




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