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UK News

Churches warned to keep safeguarding a priority even if not meeting

by Cara Bentley

Churches have been warned to make sure they are still abiding by safeguarding policies if the church is not physically meeting. 

As thousands of churches close this weekend for the foreseeable future, many are committing to caring for their members through phone calls, messages and WhatsApp groups. 

Christian safeguarding charity Thirtyone:Eight has told Premier that church leaders need to make sure their communication with under 18s and vulnerable people needs to keep within normal practices of appropriate contact. 

Justin Humphreys, CEO of Thirtyone:Eight told Premier: "We're aware of many churches making lots of different arrangements to maintain contact with those who may not now be coming to Sunday services and the like - things like making sure that the elderly and the vulnerable have food and essential provisions. Those things are absolutely necessary and it's fantastic that the Church is able to reach out to his community in those ways. 

"In doing those things, it's important that the safeguarding implications of new and different ways of working are taken account of. 

"What we would urge all churches to do, as they are thinking about these alternative arrangements for the foreseeable future, is please make sure you are consulting your safeguarding coordinator, your parish safeguarding officer, your diocesan arrangements, your designated safeguarding lead - whatever you call that person - so that they can talk through with you the potential implications and make sure that whatever we are doing to keep connected with vulnerable people in our communities that we're doing it safely."

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