Safeguarding is an essential part in the life and ministry of the Church.  It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure our parishes and institutions are safe places, especially for those who are vulnerable.  Abuse and harm have no place in our diocese.  There is zero tolerance to abuse, harm and any behaviour that falls short of appropriate safeguarding practices as expressed in National Policies.

Jesus welcomed children and blessed them.  We are told that Jesus was indignant when anyone tried to keep the children away “let the little children come to me and do not stop them.  It is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs.” (Mark 10: 14).

Jesus makes clear his view about those who seek to harm the vulnerable, “anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.  Anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith in me would be better drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18: 5-6) Jesus’ stark words point to the horror and seriousness of abuse.  Abuse is evil.  It is destructive.

Everyone in our diocese is called to ensure that all diocesan institutions, parishes, clergy, employees and volunteers take appropriate steps to maintain a safe environment and put into practice Christ’s ministry towards children, young people, and vulnerable adults.   Our diocese is committed to accompany and support all victims/survivors of abuse.  We seek to learn from them and their representatives about best safeguarding practice.

I would ask you to support Safeguarding Sunday on 19th November 2023.  Safeguarding Sunday is an opportunity to raise awareness of safeguarding, reflect on our own safeguarding journey and celebrate all the good work being done by the diocesan safeguarding office and parish representatives.

Janice Pearson the newly appointed Safeguarding Coordinator would like to visit parishes within the diocese.  Janice can be contacted at if you would like to invite her to visit your parish.

Bishop Declan

Please watch the video below for more information and click the image below to register for a Safeguarding Sunday pack: