Diocesan Safeguarding Department


“Being loved and being kept safe go to the very core of the Church’s Ministry to children and vulnerable adults. The work of safeguarding has to be seen within the overall mission of the Church. As she seeks to protect the vulnerable and weak, the Church needs to ‘act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God’. (Micah 6:8).
It is a ministry of love and healing and seeks justice for all”.
The Cumberlege Commission 2007

Reporting abuse:

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child or adult at risk, do not delay in contacting the police, using 999 if a child or adult is believed to be in immediate danger.

It is the policy of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to report all allegations of abuse to statutory authorities, regardless of whether the abuse occurred recently or in the past, or whether the accused person is living or deceased.

If you are in any role within the Clifton Diocese, you must refer allegations directly to the Clifton safeguarding department or religious congregation, or directly to the Police.

If you are a member of the public, please refer allegations directly to the police and also to our safeguarding Co-ordinator Becky Cawsey  0117 954 0993

Our Commitment to Safeguarding:

‘The Diocese of  Clifton is committed to Safeguarding as an integral  part of the life and ministry of the Church. 

Supported by and in compliance with the policies and procedures of the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service of England and Wales, we are striving towards a culture of safeguarding where all are safe from harm and abuse and where everyone is encouraged and enabled  to enjoy the fullness  of life In Jesus Christ through the prayerful, nurturing, supportive and protective endeavours of the Catholic Community, both individually and collectively. 

Our commitment applies to everyone who  within the diocese. That is Clergy, Religious, employees, seminarians, volunteers and agencies operating within the Diocese.

We aim to be a place of welcome, where each person is respected and loved, and in which everyone receives and shares their unique gifts. We seek to support and protect each other, recognising that particular care may be needed for those who maybe vulnerable because of age, disability, illness or who may be vulnerable  because of past or current experiences.

The Diocese will ensure that any allegations of a safeguarding matter are responded to promptly  and liaise openly  with  statutory authorities  to support investigations, responding sensitively and compassionately to those in need, and  ensuring perpetrators are  held to account.

We affirm our undertaking  for the Diocese of  Clifton to be a place where  all come in confidence, and  that they ŵill be cared for and loved by their Christian  Community.

Safeguarding Guidance for Church Stewards:

In the document Guidance on Re-Opening of Catholic Churches for Individual Prayer, there is a section on the stewards that will be required to assist in the supervision of people in the church building when open. The Guidance reads:

Assembling a team of stewards to ensure that the guidance in this document can safely be put into effect. The number of volunteers required will vary depending on the size of churches, but priests will not be able to manage the re-opening of churches on their own. It is important that those in the team should not be drawn from those instructed to shield themselves, nor, as a general rule, from groups considered more vulnerable to coronavirus.

Additional guidance is now presented to ensure that good practice is maintained at this time. For other practical information, see the section in the Guidance entitled Opening and operating safely: hand hygiene, cleaning and social distancing.

The information is repeated here for ease:

At least two stewards must be present in the church throughout the time it is open for prayer; the stewards must ensure that hand sanitisation occurs at entry and exit points, social distancing is maintained by people in the church and if a pre-determined capacity is reached, they prevent others from entering the church. (Through, for example, a “one in, one out” policy.) People with cold or flu-like symptoms should be asked not to enter.

Stewards themselves should practice good hand hygiene through either regular hand washing or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser. They should not eat or drink or touch their face unless they have immediately washed their hands beforehand and should maintain social distance within the church. They should ensure any cuts or grazes on their hands are completely covered with waterproof dressings. They should not physically assist people unless absolutely necessary, for example in an emergency for first aid.

One of the stewards could be the Parish Priest himself; stewards should be already known to the parish priest and be current volunteers in the parish.

Where possible, ensure one of each pair is trained in safeguarding for another role in the parish community.

Parish priests should keep a rota of who was on duty at any given time, and also that the names and contact details of stewards are kept in the parish office with this rota.

Ensure the Diocesan Safeguarding Posters are clearly visible in the church, that they have up to date contact details on them, and the stewards know about them so they can provide these details of the local Safeguarding Office to anybody who appears to be concerned for themselves or another person.

It is not advisable for a person under 16 years to enter a church building at this time without being accompanied by an adult.

Please contact your local Diocesan Safeguarding Office for any additional information or advice.

Rev. Canon Christopher Thomas

8th June 2020

Guidance for conference calls, especially with young people:


Below you will find risk assessments and codes of conduct documents that may help if you are using the internet to have meetings with young people in your parish or youth group.

Some of the issues we need to consider are as follows;

  • Obtaining parental permission via email
  • Register to know who was present at each session, also seeking to ensure that no one that had not been invited is present.
  • Two leaders at all times in the Zoom meeting. These leaders should have a current DBS clearance with the Diocese. We are still  able to deal with DBS issues, so please do contact us. We would like all Leaders to complete at least 1 of the on line Educare Safeguarding courses. We, the Safeguarding team  still provide access to any parishioners / helper who requires it providing we have their email address. You can find details at the foot of this page 
  • We recommend some scripted  starter to the meeting advising against oversharing of personal information ie addresses.
  • Leaders to consider how to deal with an unexpected disclosure from one of the participants.  
  • The Risk Assessment covers some additional elements to take account of and action.

Use of Zoom for children/youth ministry risk assessment

Code of Conduct for Leaders and Helpers

Code of Conduct for Children and Young Persons

When it’s not safe to stay at home:

A guide to supporting people at risk of abuse during coronavirus

It’s true that during coronavirus most people must stay home to stay safe. But home is not a safe place for some people so, if you are a victim of domestic or other abuse, to stay safe you must get help which may mean breaking the rules on lockdown.
Councils have hugely increased the accommodation available to victims of domestic abuse at this time. Police forces have committed to responding quickly to calls for help. Safeguarding the welfare of children and adults in vulnerable situations is an absolute priority during this crisis.

Download the booklet here: When+its+not+safe+to+stay+at+home


Domestic Abuse – Helplines and Information

Here you will find information about where and how to report domestic abuse and get help.

Phone the Police

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.

If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and listen to the questions from the operator and if possible, respond by coughing or tapping the head set.

If prompted, press 55 to Make Yourself Heard and this will transfer your call to the police. (NB Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.)

When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about your location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide a response.

Seek help

Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge
0808 200 0247

Live Fear Free helpline (Wales)
0808 80 10 800

Men’s Advice Line
0808 801 0327

Rape Crisis (England and Wales)
0808 802 9999

Respect phoneline
0808 802 4040

Galop (for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people)
0800 999 5428

Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline
0800 027 1234

Scottish Women’s Aid
0131 226 6606

Women’s Aid Federation (Northern Ireland)
0800 917 1414

Karma Nirvana
Karma Nirvana runs a national honour-based abuse helpline.
Telephone: 0800 5999 247

Hestia provides a free mobile app, Bright Sky, which provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

Chayn provides online help and resources in a number of languages about identifying manipulative situations and how friends can support those being abused.

Imkaan are a women’s organisation addressing violence against black and minority women and girls.

Southall Black Sisters
Southall Black Sisters offer advocacy and information to Asian and Afro-Caribbean women suffering abuse.

Stay Safe East
Stay Safe East provides advocacy and support services to disabled victims and survivors of abuse.

SignHealth provides domestic abuse service support for deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL).
Telephone: 020 3947 2601

Shelter provide free confidential information, support and legal advice on all housing and homelessness issues.

Sexual Assault Referral Centres
Sexual Assault Referral Centres provide advice and support services to victims and survivors of sexual assault or abuse.

Support for children and young people

Telephone: 0808 800 5000

Telephone: 0800 1111

Support if you think you may be an abuser

Respect is an anonymous and confidential helpline for men and women who are harming their partners and families. The helpline also takes calls from (ex)partners, friends and relatives who are concerned about perpetrators.
Telephone: 0808 802 4040

Support for employers

Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse
The Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse website provides resources to support employers including an employers’ toolkit

Business in the Community
Business in the Community publish a toolkit with information for employers.

Live Chat Services

The service will now run from 3 pm – 6 pm Monday – Friday. Additionally, the team will run a chat dedicated to answering questions from professionals, agencies and workers from 10 am – 12 noon on weekdays.

Women’s Aid
This service runs on Monday to Friday from 10am – 2pm

Other support:

You may wish to contact one of these 24-hour helplines to report abuse


  • NSPCCChild Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are worried about a child.
  • Child-line: 0800 1111 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are a child or young person and are worried about anything.
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Samaritans Helpline: 08457 90 90 90 (open 24 hours). Phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to.
  • Action on Elder Abuse Helpline: 080 8808 8141 (free phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm).
  • WomansAid –  National  Domestic Violence Helpline  – 0808 2000 247
  • The mix – Advice  for the under 25yrs.
  • Mankind – Advice for Male Victims of  Domestic Violence.
  • Childline – Deals with a vast variety of children concerns including Domestic Violence.
  • Guidance supporting people who may be experiencing domestic violence

Home activity packs:

A page has been created on the above website to support parents during COVID-19 and the closure of schools. Each fortnight, they will be releasing new home activity packs with simple 15 minute activities you can do with your child to support their online safety at a time when they will spending more time online at home.

Go straight to the page here:

New – Jessie & Friends!

Jessie & Friends is a series of three animations to help keep 4-7 year olds safe online. Click image above to access the site.

Help and advice for families in a digital world

Parent Info is a collaboration between Parent Zone and NCA-CEOP, providing support and guidance for parents from leading experts and organisations.

Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS) Policies and Procedures Manual

Diocesan Safeguarding Department


The Catholic Church of England and Wales, the Bishops and Religious Congregational Leaders are committed to safeguarding as an integral part of the life and ministry of the Church and affirm a ‘One Church’ approach to safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk through the promotion of a sustained culture of constant vigilance. The ‘best interests’ or ‘paramount chief principle’, which underpins and is enshrined in child and adult protection legislation, shall be the primary consideration in all matters of safeguarding.  The One Church approach refers to the commitment by the Church in England and Wales to using the same policies, procedures, standards and systems in relation to safeguarding. 

This manual contains the National Procedures to be followed by all those involved with responding to concerns or allegations of abuse about a child or adult within the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

National Safeguarding Policies and Procedures

NCSC policy statement :

Every human being has a value which we acknowledge as coming directly from God’s creation of male and female in his own image and likeness. We believe therefore that all people should be valued, supported and protected from harm. We recognise the personal dignity and rights of vulnerable people towards whom the Church has a special responsibility. The Catholic Church and its individual members will undertake appropriate steps to maintain a safe environment for all, by practising fully and positively Christ’s Ministry towards children, young people and adults and responding sensitively and compassionately to their needs in order to help keep them safe from harm. This is demonstrated by the provision of carefully planned activities for children, young people and adults, caring for those hurt by abuse and ministering to and robustly managing those who have caused harm. The Catholic Church of England and Wales, the Bishops and Religious Congregational Leaders are committed to safeguarding as an integral part of the life and ministry of the Church and affirm a ‘One Church’ approach to safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk through the promotion of a sustained culture of constant vigilance. The ‘best interests’ or ‘paramount chief principle’, which underpins and is enshrined in child and adult protection legislation, shall be the primary consideration in all matters of safeguarding. This ‘One Church’ approach should also be adopted by lay associations of the faithful ministering to children and adults at risk in the name of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has in place a National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC), which is an independent body working within the framework of the Church in England and Wales. It is mandated by the Conference of Bishops and Conference of Religious Congregations and has accountability across Dioceses and Religious Congregations to ensure that standards are met and policies are implemented. Established in 2008, the NCSC sets the strategic direction of the Church’s safeguarding policy for children, young people and adults at risk. It is also responsible for developing quality assurance processes which includes monitoring and auditing the compliance of the Church with safeguarding procedures. The NCSC is leading on the development of pastoral support services on a national basis and is informed by the Survivor Advisory Panel which it has established to ensure that the voices of survivors and victims of abuse informs the work of the NCSC

Safeguarding Training

Would your Catechist known how to respond if a child confided in them regarding a Safeguarding matter? Would your Eucharistic Minister be aware of the importance of acting on their suspicions about something they had seen or heard? Would your Parish Safeguarding Rep be confident in dealing with the disclosure from someone in has plucked up the courage to speak out about something.  Do you know how to raise and record any concerns

All who work, volunteer or worship within the Catholic Church have access to free Safeguarding training.  This is E learning that can be completed in your own home at entirely your own pace.  We urge as many people as possible to take advantage of this free training.   

Anyone wishing to engage please forward you request to and Beci will set up the account for you.

Diocesan safeguarding commission:
The Diocese has a Safeguarding Commission chaired by an Independent lay person with extensive experience in working with children and vulnerable adults.
Other members of the Commission come from a range of relevant professional backgrounds such as Social Care, the Police, Health, Probation and Clergy.
The Commission oversees and guides the work of the Safeguarding Team, ensuring the correct implementation of Policy and Procedures. It is accountable to the Bishop and Trustees.Current members are:-


  • Steve Livings (Commission Chair)
  • Mary Hopper (Counsellor and Lay Chaplain)
  • Rev Richard McKay (Clergy Adviser)
  • Andrew Bond (Medical Representative)
  • Deacon Paul Brandon (Clergy safeguarding representative)
  • Rev Isidore Obi (Canon Lawyer)
  • Andrew Gorzynski (Parish Representative)
  • Jane Wragg (Care Representative)
  • Iris White (Parish Representative)
  • Nicola Laird (Bristol LADO)
  • Richard Ashby
  • Dr Maame Sarfo

Tasks of the Safeguarding Coordinator and team include:

1. to enquire into any allegation or concern for inappropriate behaviour or actual abuse of children by any person working for the diocese either paid or voluntary;
2. to advise the Bishop;
3. to monitor that agreed Diocesan Procedures are adhered to, in the light of the ‘paramountcy principle’, and to ensure that these Procedures are reviewed regularly in the light of experience, best practice and national Church Policy;
4. to ensure appropriate pastoral care and support of victims and those against whom allegations have been made;
5. to ensure induction of Diocesan personnel and parish communities into the Diocesan Child Protection Procedures;
6. to promote:
    – knowledge of these Procedures
    – training and generally increase the level of awareness of Child Protection issues and practices in the Diocese
    – the publication of the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator’s contact number
    – access to the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator
7. to ensure that the necessary checks are carried out with the Disclosure and Barring service;
8. to oversee the safe retention of all documentation and data for as long as required for the protection of children and vulnerable adults;
9. to work with the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS) and its Director.

The Diocesan Safeguarding Office will deal with all checks through the Disclosure and Barring service, including those for people working with vulnerable adults. A Diocesan Safeguarding Commission, under a lay chairperson, has been established to guide and oversee all aspects of safeguarding as outlined above.

Diocesan safeguarding team:-

The Safeguarding Team currently consists of a Safeguarding Coordinator, Safeguarding Officer, Safeguarding Support & Administration Officer and a Safeguarding and Safe Recruitment Administrator.

Safeguarding Co-ordinator: Becky Cawsey
Manages the safeguarding functions within the Diocese, dealing with allegations of abuse, the implementation of policy and procedures, overseeing safer recruitment and training for Clergy, volunteers and employees.

Tel: 0117 954 0993

Safeguarding Officer: Tracey Holford
Deals with allegations of abuse alongside the Safeguarding Coordinator and implements the national training standards in the Clifton Diocese for Clergy, Parish Reps and volunteers which is overseen by the Safeguarding Coordinator.
Tel: 0117 954 0993

Safeguarding Officer: Jonathan Peyton
Deals with allegations of abuse alongside the Safeguarding Coordinator and implements the national training standards in the Clifton Diocese for Clergy, Parish Reps and volunteers which is overseen by the Safeguarding Coordinator.
Tel: 0117 954 0993

Safeguarding Support and Administration Officer: Rebecca Monks
Provides secretarial support to the Safeguarding Coordinator, Safeguarding Officer and the Safeguarding Commission. Oversees the safer recruitment in the office and provides training on the safer recruitment process/DBS process to the Parish Reps.
Tel: 0117 954 0993  Email:

Safeguarding and Safe Recruitment Administrator: Emma Kayne
Ensures that all employees, Clergy and volunteers working with children and vulnerable adults are appointed in accordance with the requirements of safer recruitment and the Disclosure and Barring Service.
Tel: 0117 9025597

The following Religious Orders are aligned to Clifton Diocese for Safeguarding advice:

Prinknash Abbey

Prinknash Abbey

Abbot Martin MacLaughlin

Tel: 01452 812455

Congregation of the Sisters of Jesus in the Temple

Congregation of the Sisters of Jesus in the Temple

Sr Marie Louise Levern
Maison Generale
7 Place de la republique
Vernon Cedex

Tel: 0033 23 25 10 511

Downside Abbey

Downside Abbey

Fr Nicholas Wetz (Prior Administrator)

Tel: 01761 235 119

La Retraite

La Retraite

Sister Hilary White
22 Bristol South End
BS3 5BH  

Tel: 0117 953 3544

Sisters of the Divine Saviour/Salvatorian Sisters

Sisters of the Divine Saviour/Salvatorian Sisters

Sr Maria Goretti Comerford
Divine Saviour Convent
Dillon Court

Tel: 0117 9413774

Sisters of the Saviour & Blessed Virgin

Sisters of the Saviour & Blessed Virgin

Sister Jackie Brain
9 Fossett Way
Wyke Regis

Tel: 01793 740606

Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit

Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit

Sister Sujata Sawarimuthu
The Convent
Kingsweston Lane
Lawrence Weston
BS11 0QU

Tel: 0117 9822431