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 SAFEGUARDING POLICY & PROCEDURES for the storehouse church shropshire 

Our Vision

 The Storehouse Church is based in Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury. Our vision is real people meeting a real God.
As part of this vision we:

Welcome children and adults at risk into the life of our community
  • Run activities for children and adults at risk
Our safeguarding responsibilities

The church recognises its responsibilities in safeguarding all children, young people and adults at risk, regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability.
As members of this church we commit ourselves to the nurturing, protection and safekeeping of all associated with the church and will pray for them regularly. In pursuit of this, we commit ourselves to this policy and to the development of sound procedures to ensure we implement our policy well.

  • Prevention and reporting of abuse
It is the duty of each church member to help prevent the abuse of children and adults at risk, and the duty of each church member to respond to concerns about the well-being of children and adults at risk. Any abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected will be reported in accordance with our procedures. The church will fully co-operate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the church.
  • Safer recruitment, support and supervision of workers
The church will exercise proper care in the selection and appointment of those working with children and adults at risk, whether paid or voluntary. All workers will be provided with appropriate training, support and supervision to promote the safekeeping of children and adults at risk.
  • Respecting children and adults at risk
The church will adopt a code of behaviour for all who are appointed to work with children and adults at risk so that all children and adults are shown the respect that is due to them.
  • Safer working practices
The church is committed to providing an environment that is as safe as possible for children and adults at risk and will adopt ways of working with them that promote their safety and well-being.
  • A safer community
The church is committed to the prevention of bullying. The church will seek to ensure that the behaviour of any individuals who may pose a risk to children, young people and adults at risk in the community of the church is managed appropriately.
 Safeguarding contact points within our church
The church has appointed the following individuals to form part of the church safeguarding team:
Mr Tony Luton, Designated Person for Safeguarding (DPS)                           
He will advise the church on any matters related to the safeguarding of children and adults at risk and take the appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected.
Phone number                 07960504587                    

Email address:
Mr Martin D Stacey, Deputy Designated Person for Safeguarding (DDPS)            
He will assist the Designated Person for Safeguarding (DPS) in helping the church on any matters related to the safeguarding of children and adults at risk and take the appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected.
Phone number:            07548546075        

Email address:

Mr Tony Luton, Safeguarding Trustee                   
He will raise the profile of safeguarding within the church and oversee and monitor the implementation of the safeguarding policy and procedures on behalf of the church trustees.
Phone number 07960504587                     

Where possible, the Church Safeguarding Team will work together if and when issues arise. However, each person has a responsibility to report allegations of abuse as soon as they are raised.
Putting our policy into practice
  • A copy of the safeguarding policy statement will be  available on our church website.
  • Each worker with children and/or adults at risk will be given a full copy of the safeguarding policy and procedures and will be asked to sign to confirm that they will follow them.
  • A full copy of the policy and procedures will be made available on request to any member of, or other person associated with the church.
  • The policy and procedures will be monitored and reviewed annually, and any necessary revisions adopted into the policy and implemented through our procedures.

2.1.1 What to do if Abuse is Suspected or Disclosed
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child or adult at risk. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child or adult by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children and adults at risk may be abused in a range of settings, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. There are many ways in which people suffer abuse. For more information, please see Appendix 1.                              

Everyone has his or her part to play in helping to safeguard children and adults at risk within the life of the church:
  • If the behaviour of a child or adult at risk gives any cause for concern
  • If an allegation is made in any context about a child or adult at risk being harmed
  • If the behaviour of any individual towards children or adults at risk causes concern
  • Listen to and acknowledge what is being said.
  • Try to be reassuring & remain calm.
  • Explain clearly what you will do and what will happen next.
  • Try to give them a timescale for when and how you / the DPS will contact them again.
  • Take action – don’t ignore the situation.
  • Be supportive.
  • Tell them that:
  • They were right to tell you;
  • You are taking what they have said seriously;
  • It was not their fault;
  • That you would like to pass this information on to the appropriate people, with their permission;
  • Be open and honest.
  • Give contact details for them to report any further details or ask any questions that may arise.
  • Do not promise confidentiality.
  • Do not show shock, alarm, disbelief or disapproval.
  • Do not minimise what is being said.
  • Do not ask probing or leading questions, or push for more information.
  • Do not offer false reassurance.
  • Do not delay in contacting the DPS.
  • Do not contact the alleged abuser.
  • Do not investigate the incident any further.
  • Never leave a child or adult at risk waiting to hear from someone without any idea of when or where that may be.
  • Do not pass on information to those who don't need to know; not even for prayer ministry.

2.1.2 Responding to Concerns
When there are concerns that a child, young person or adult is being abused, the following process must be followed. More detailed information can be found in Appendix 2.
If the DPS is not available, or is implicated in the situation, any reports or concerns should be passed to   another member of the church Safeguarding Team.

If you think that anyone is in imminent danger of harm, a report
should be made immediately to the police by calling 999.

2.1.3 Responding to Concerns Raised about Adults at Risk
When a concern is raised about an adult it should be treated in the same way as a concern about a child ie the church worker (paid or voluntary) should:
  1. Recognise that abuse may be taking place
  2. Respond to the concern
  3. Record all the information they have received
  4. Report the concern to the DPS who may, in turn, report it to the statutory authorities
It is not your role to decide whether someone has mental capacity, and is therefore able to make decisions that impact on their safety and well-being. Decisions on mental capacity are best made by professionals with the relevant background information to hand. Always share your concerns with the DPS even if you do not have the consent of the adult to do so – in this instance, make sure the DPS knows that the person concerned has not given consent for the information to be passed on.
The Care Act 2014 provides helpful guidance on these situations:

“If the adult has the mental capacity to make informed decisions about their safety and
they do not want any action to be taken, this does not preclude the sharing of information with
relevant professional colleagues. This is to enable professionals to assess the risk of harm
and to be confident that the adult is not being unduly influenced, coerced or intimidated and
is aware of all the options. This will also enable professionals to check the safety and validity
of decisions made. It is good practice to inform the adult that this action is being taken
unless doing so would increase the risk of harm”.

The DPS will consider all the information to hand and decide whether it is appropriate for the information to be reported to the statutory authorities (see appendix 2 for further information). If there are any concerns about an adult's mental capacity, the DPS will contact the Local Authority Adult Safeguarding Team for advice. 

2.1.4 Allegations Against Workers
If you see another worker acting in ways which concern you or might be misconstrued, speak to the DPS about your concerns as soon as you can.  This includes the actions or behaviours of those in leadership positions in the church.
Church workers should encourage an atmosphere of mutual accountability, holding each other to the highest standards of safeguarding practice. The following procedure should be followed:
  • When an allegation of abuse has been made do not approach the alleged perpetrator about it
  • Follow the usual safeguarding procedure: Recognise, Respond, Record, Report
  • Once the allegation has been reported to the DPS they can liaise with the relevant statutory authority
  • Whilst waiting for an outcome from the statutory authorities, the worker about whom concerns have been raised will be supervised as closely as possible, without raising suspicion
  • Once the statutory authorities are involved, the church will follow their advice with regard to the next steps to take (for example, suspension of worker, putting a contract in place)
  • A written record of all discussions with statutory authorities or other parties should be maintained by the DPS and stored securely and confidentially, where only those directly involved in safeguarding (DPS, Safeguarding Trustee, Minister) can access them.
  • No information about the allegation will be shared with people in the church other than those directly involved in safeguarding; not even for prayer purposes.
The suspension of a worker following an allegation is, by definition, a neutral act. Our priority as a church is to protect children and adults at risk from possible further abuse or from being influenced in any way by the alleged perpetrator.
It may be necessary, for the sake of the child / adult at risk or to satisfy the needs of an investigation, for the alleged perpetrator to worship elsewhere. In such cases the new church DPS will be informed of the reasons for this happening.
When concerns are expressed about the church DPS / Safeguarding Trustee
Any safeguarding concerns involving the DPS or Safeguarding Trustee should be raised with the Church Leaders  Do not tell the DPS / Safeguarding Trustee that a concern has been raised about them.

2.1.5 Abuse of Trust
Relationships between children and adults at risk and their church workers can be described as 'relationships of trust'. The worker is someone in whom the child or adult at risk has placed a degree of trust. This may be because the worker has an educational role, is a provider of activities, or is even a significant adult friend.  It is not acceptable for a church worker to form a romantic relationship with a child or adult at risk with whom they have a relationship of trust.
While by no means restricted to young leaders, those who are in their early adult years will need to be particularly aware of the need not to abuse their position of trust in their relationships with other young people who are not much younger than themselves.

2.1.6 Allegations Made Against Children and Adults at Risk
Children and young people are by nature curious about the opposite sex.  However, where a child is in a position of power, has responsibility over another child (as in a babysitting arrangement) and abuses that trust through some sexual activity, then this is abusive.  Where one child introduces another child to age-inappropriate sexual activity or forces themselves onto a child, this is abusive.  Such situations will be taken as seriously as if an adult were involved, because the effects on the child victim can be as great.
When such an instance occurs, they are investigated by the statutory authorities in the same way as if an adult were involved, though it is likely that the perpetrator would also be regarded as a victim in their own right, as they may have also been abused.  It cannot be assumed that young people will grow out of this type of behaviour, as most adult sex offenders started abusing in their teens or even younger.  
Allegations against adults at risk will be investigated by the statutory authorities.  If the alleged perpetrator is unable to understand the significance of questions put to them or their replies, they can access support from an ‘appropriate’ adult whilst they are being questioned.  This role can be filled by a range of people, such as a family member, carer, social worker, etc.  In court, adults at risk may be allowed to be assisted by an intermediary or give evidence through a live link.
When an allegation is made against a child or adult at risk the following procedure should be followed:
  • Do not approach the person about whom the allegation has been made or their parents / carers
  • Follow the church’s safeguarding procedure: Recognise, Respond, Record, Report
  • Seek advice from the DPS, who will speak to the police or social services about when to inform a parent. The DPS will also seek advice about what steps need to be taken to ensure the needs of both the victim and alleged perpetrator are met; this may include placing the child or adult at risk on a Safeguarding Contract or equivalent.
  • Make sure there is pastoral support in place for the child or adult at risk throughout the process involved.
2.1.7 Pastoral Care
Following an allegation / suspicion
When an allegation/suspicion arises in the church, a period of investigation will follow, which will be stressful for all involved. The church will ensure that one person is responsible for dealing with the authorities, another offers support to the victim/s and their family, and another gives pastoral care to the alleged perpetrator, without compromising the alleged victims or their families.  It may be necessary to appoint other people to support the families involved. 
Where a statutory investigation is under way, this support will be provided with the knowledge of the statutory authority involved.
Where the perpetrator accepts some responsibility, they will be encouraged to seek specialised interventions/treatment to reduce the risk of re-offending.  This may only be appropriate once the investigation and legal processes have been completed.
Supporting those who have experienced abuse
We recognise it is important that those who have experienced abuse:
  • Are accepted for who they are, without being made to forgive or being put into a position of feeling guilty and responsible for what happened to them.
  • Know that God loves them unconditionally, and that nothing can or will change this truth.
  • Can be confident that those in the church community who know about the abuse are with them on their journey – no matter how long or difficult that journey may be.
It may be necessary to signpost individuals to specialist support.  The DPS has a list of relevant local information and contacts, ready for anyone who may need it.
As a church, we are committed to safer recruitment practices. When recruiting both paid and volunteer church workers, the following process will be applied:
  • We will develop a clear role profile, person specification and application form;
  • When advertising a role which involves working with children or adults at risk we will make it clear that any appointment is subject to a DBS check;
  • All applicants will be asked to complete an application form and include the names of two referees;
  • Short listing of applicants will be carried out by at least two people, including the line manager or group leader directly overseeing the role being recruited for;
  • Interviews will be carried out by at least two people, including the line manager or group leader;
  • References, a Self-Disclosure Form and an enhanced DBS check must be completed satisfactorily before the appointed person starts in their role.
Note: Under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, it is an offence for anyone disqualified from working with children or adults at risk to knowingly apply, accept or offer to work with children or adults at risk. It is also a criminal offence to knowingly offer work with children or adults at risk to an individual who is so disqualified or to knowingly allow such an individual to continue to work with children or adults at risk.
Additional checks for paid workers
In addition to the above checks which should be completed for both paid and volunteer church workers, an applicant’s UK residency status and/ or right to work in the UK will be checked when recruiting for a paid role.
Formal written references will be requested, ideally in the form of at least one professional and one personal reference
Appointment and Supervision
The church’s safeguarding policy and procedures will be discussed with the applicant and they will be required to sign their agreement to adhere to them. All workers will have a role description and clear lines of accountability to a leader and the leadership team.
Paid workers will also have an assigned supervisor whom they will meet with regularly to discuss work and address any issues or areas of concern. There will be a probationary period of six months in the role before any paid appointment is confirmed.
There will also be regular team meetings to review procedures, share concerns and identify other matters that may need clarification and guidance.

It is important that all workers understand our church’s agreed safeguarding procedures and attend  Safeguarding training at least once every 3 years
(via thirtyone:eight).  Additional specialist training will also be arranged where needed, for example, in First Aid.
Young leaders under 18 years of age
In law, young leaders under the age of 18 are children and cannot be treated as adult members of a team. Training and mentoring will be given to ensure that they are helped to develop and hone their skills, attitudes and experience. Young leaders must always be closely supervised by an adult leader and never given sole responsibility for a group of children. When considering ratios of staff to children, young leaders need to be counted as children, not leaders. The safeguarding procedures apply to a young leader just as they do to any other person. Parent / carer permission needs to be sought for young leaders just as you would for any other person under 18 years of age.

The church has a code of behaviour for all those working with children and/or adults at risk so that everyone is shown the respect that is due to them:
  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
  • Use age and ability appropriate language and tone of voice. Be aware of your body language and the effect you are having on the child or adult at risk.
  • Listen well to everyone. Be careful not to assume you know what a child or adult at risk is thinking or feeling. Listen to what is being spoken and how it is said. At the same time, observe the individual’s body language to better understand what is being said.
  • Be aware of any physical contact you may have with a child or adult at risk and record it when necessary.  For instance, if you need to stop a fight, administer First Aid, give a hug to someone in distress, or protect yourself or others from danger.
  • Do not make sexually suggestive comments about or to a child or adult at risk, even in 'fun'.
  • Do not scapegoat, belittle, ridicule or reject a child or adult at risk.
  • Keep a record of any significant incidents or concerns on a Safeguarding Incident Form (see Appendix 3).  Enter the names of all those present and anything of note which you observe, e.g. details of any fights broken up by the workers, allegations made, etc.  All workers who witnessed the incident, overheard it or responded in any way should record the details and sign and date the form.

Specific considerations when working with children:
  • Do not invade the privacy of children when they are using the toilet or showering
  • The level of assistance with personal care (eg. toileting) must be appropriate and related to the age of the child, whilst also accepting that some children have special needs.
  • Avoid rough games involving physical contact between a worker and a child
  • Avoid sexually provocative games
  • When it is necessary to discipline children, this should be done without using physical punishment. There may, however, on the rare occasion be circumstances where a child needs to be restrained in order to protect them or a third person.
  • Only invite children and young people to your home or on trips in groups and always make sure that another worker is present.
  • Notify the DPS of any children’s trips which take place in the name of the church.  Parental permission must always be sought.
  • No person under 18 years of age should be left in sole charge of any children of any age. Nor should children or young people attending a group be left alone at any time.
No one should normally be left working alone with children, young people or adults at risk, but should instead work as part of a team. If there are insufficient leaders for groups:
  • Internal doors should be left open. 
  • At least two people should be present before external doors are opened for an event.
  • Consider whether you could combine groups together or rearrange planned activities.
  • Reconsider whether you can run the group safely, carrying out a Risk Assessment to record your findings.
If workers do find themselves on their own with children or adults at risk, they should:
  • Assess the risk of sending the child or adult at risk home. Phone another team member and let them know the situation.
  • Train additional leaders as soon as possible.
If a child or adult at risk wants to talk on a one-to-one basis you should make sure that:
  • You try to hold the conversation in a corner of a room where other people are present.
  • You leave the door open if you are in a room on your own.
  • Another team member knows where you are.
Consideration should be given to how many workers should be involved with the group and whether they should be male or female workers, or both. See section 3.11 for recommended ratios. The only adults allowed to participate in children’s and adult at risk activities are those safely appointed and appropriately trained.  The leader of the activity should be aware of any other adults who are in the building whilst the activity is running.

The church is in an amazing position in society, with the opportunity to minister to individuals from the whole community, from the very young to the very old. These best practice guidelines are in place to help those working on behalf of the church to do it well, prioritising the safety and well-being of those they are working with.  Whilst this section is divided into adults and children, some aspects of good practice will overlap.
3.1.1 Ratios
When working with children the following recommended minimum ratios of workers to children apply:
Age range Recommended minimum ratio for INDOOR activities Recommended minimum ratio for OUTDOOR activities
0 – 2 years 1:3 (minimum 2) 1:3 (minimum 2)
3 years 1:4 (minimum 2) 1:4 (minimum 2)
4 – 7 years 1:8 (minimum 2) 1:6 (minimum 2)
8 – 12 years 1 for the first 8, then one for every additional ten children (preferably one of each gender) with an extra adult for every 10 additional children.                      2 adults for up to 15 children (preferably one of each gender) with an extra adult for every 8 additional children
13 years and over 2 adults for up to 20 children      (preferably one of each gender) with an extra adult for every 10 additional children 2 adults for up to 20 children (preferably one of each gender) with an extra adult for every 10 additional children
This does not take into account special circumstances such as behavioural issues, developmental issues, disability and so on, which may mean an increase to the recommended ratios.  In calculating the ratios of workers to children, young leaders who are under the age of 18 should be counted as one of the children, not one of the workers.

3.1.2 Children with Special Needs
Children and young people who have a disability can be at greater risk of abuse.  They will often require more help with personal care, such as washing, dressing, toileting, feeding, mobility, etc, and may have limited understanding and behave in a non-age-appropriate way.  It is good practice to speak with the parents/carers of children/young people with special needs and find out from them how best to assist the child or young person.
3.1.3 Visiting Children or Young People at Home
It is unlikely that workers will need to make pastoral visits to children and their families at home on behalf of the church.  If a situation occurs where it is needed then it should be done in pairs, and with the prior agreement of the Minister.
3.1.4 Children with no adult supervision
When children turn up to and want to join in with church activities without the knowledge of their parents/carers, workers will:
  • Welcome the child and try to establish their name, age, address and telephone number.
  • Record their visit in a register.
  • Ask the child if a parent/carer is aware of where they are.  Where possible, phone and make contact.
  • Without interrogating the child, find out as soon as possible whether they have any specific needs (e.g. medication) so that you can respond appropriately in an emergency.
  • Where possible to send a consent form via email or post to parents.  In other situations, give the child a consent form and explain it needs to be filled in and brought back next time.
3.1.5 Mentoring
If a worker is working with a young person as part of the recognised church mentoring programme:
  • The parents of all young people involved in mentoring are required to sign a letter to say they are aware that the mentoring is happening and who it is with.
  • Mentoring meetings should only be held in agreed places, and should be in view of other people.
  • A mentoring meeting should have an agreed start and end time and someone should be aware that a meeting is taking place and where it is being held.
  • A basic record should be kept of dates of significant meetings and any text messages or emails.
  • Appropriate boundaries should be put in place in regard to times and demand, ie not phoning or texting late at night, etc.
  • A written record should be kept of issues/decisions discussed at meetings.
3.1.6 Peer Group Activities for Young People
All youth activities will be overseen by named adults who have been selected in accordance with safer recruitment procedures.  On occasions groups may benefit from being led and run by peers.  In this situation, adult leaders will contribute to programme planning and reviews and will always be present to oversee any peer-led activities taking place.
3.1.7 Physical Contact
  • Keep everything public.  A hug within a group context is very different from one behind closed doors.
  • Touch should be related to the child's needs, not the worker's.
  • Touch should be age-appropriate and generally initiated by the child rather than the worker.
  • Workers should avoid any physical activity that is, or may be thought to be, sexually stimulating to the adult or the child.
  • Children are entitled to privacy to ensure their personal dignity.
  • Children have the right to decide how much physical contact they have with others, except in exceptional circumstances such as when they need medical attention.
  • When giving first aid (or applying sun cream, etc), workers should encourage the child to do what they can manage themselves, but consider the child's best interests and give appropriate help where necessary.
  • Team members should monitor one another in the area of physical contact. They should help each other by constructively challenging anything which could be misunderstood or misconstrued.
3.1.8 Electronic Communications - Cyber Safety
Modern Technologies and Safe Communication
A worker’s role description will include an acknowledgement and approval of technologies such as email, social networking and mobile phone communications as a legitimate means of communicating with young people. It should also include the expectations of the church in relation to their use.  On the general consent form, parents/carers sign to agree that the young person can receive such communications.

Young people also need to be aware of the protocols that workers follow in relation to electronic communications.  It is important to remember that as well as the parent/carer, young people have a right to decide whether they want a worker to have their contact details and should not be pressurised otherwise.
It is not appropriate to use these communication methods with children aged 11 years and younger.
Email should be limited to sharing generic information, for example, to remind young people about meetings.  If email is being used, workers will ensure that they are accountable by copying each message to a designated email address.  It is important workers use clear and unambiguous language to reduce the risk of misinterpretation, for example, avoiding inappropriate terms such as ‘love’ when ending an email.
Communicating using Instant Messaging (eg. Snapchat, Whatsapp, Instagram)
Instant messaging should be kept to an absolute minimum.  Workers should save significant conversations, (Whatsapp conversations can be extracted and saved on a PC) and keep a log stating with whom and when they communicated.
Messages should copy in a second leader. i.e. 2 in adults any messaging context.
Mobile Phones
Workers need to take care in using mobile phones to communicate with young people:
  •  Mobile phone use should primarily be for the purposes of information sharing.
  •  Workers should keep a log of significant conversations/texts.
  •  Any texts or conversations that raise concerns should be passed on to the worker’s supervisor.
  • Workers should use clear language and should not use abbreviations like ‘lol’ which could mean ‘laugh out loud’ or ‘lots of love’.
Paid workers can use their personal phones for work context messages but they should copy in other leaders as stated above.  
Workers should not take photos of children, young people or adults at risk unless permission is sought in advance and should not store such photos on personal phones.
Social Networking
Taking Videos and Photographs of Children
Since the introduction of the Data Protection Act in 1998, churches must be very careful if they use still or moving images of clearly identifiable people.  There are several issues to be aware of:
  • Permission must be obtained, via the consent form, of all children who will appear in a photograph or video  before the photograph is taken or footage recorded.
  • It must be made clear why that person's image is being used, what you will be using it for, and who might want to look at the pictures.
  • If images are being taken at an event attended by large crowds, such as a sports event, this is regarded as a public area and permission from a crowd is not necessary.
  • Many uses of photographs are not covered by the Data Protection Act 1998, including all photographs and video recordings made for personal use, such as a parent/carer taking photographs at school sports days or videoing a church nativity play.
  • Children and young people under the age of 18 should not be identified by surname or other personal details, including email, postal address or telephone number.
  • When using photographs of children and young people, it is preferable to use group pictures.
3.2.1 Premises
The hired premises will be made as accessible as possible to all people. Any restrictions to access, visibility, audibility, toilet facilities, lighting or heating will be addressed wherever possible, and where necessary, aids and adaptations put in place.
3.2.2 Language
Every effort will be taken to use appropriate language and suitable vocabulary, enabling the greatest level of inclusivity and accessibility.  We will be mindful of the language used within worship and the language used to describe people (such as derogatory words focusing on aspects of someone’s disability, race or sexuality rather than the person themselves).
3.2.3 Worship
In all worship services, we will consider the varied requirements of our congregation and try to be as inclusive as possible, by:
  • Providing  clear display on the projector.
  • Speakers always facing the congregation and not covering their mouths when  talking, enabling those who rely on lip-reading
  • Describing what is being presented on a screen for those who cannot see it clearly
  • Using inclusive language
  • Using a variety of liturgy and resources to cater for different levels of  understanding
  • Using a microphone during times of open prayer so that all can hear
3.2.4 Insurance
We will take reasonable steps to safeguard adults at risk and will follow any specific safeguarding requirements as laid out by our insurance company.
3.2.5 Financial integrity
Arrangements are in place for dealing with money, financial transactions and gifts, as outlined below:
  • Those who work with adults at risk may become involved in some aspects of personal finance - collecting pensions or benefits, shopping or banking, etc. If handling money for someone else, always obtain receipts or other evidence of what has been done.
  • Workers should not seek personal financial gain from their position beyond any salary or recognised allowances or expenses.
  • Workers should not be influenced by offers of money.
  • Any gifts received should be reported to the church trustees, who should decide whether or not the gift can be accepted.
  • Any money received by the church should be handled by two unrelated church workers.
  • Care should be taken not to canvass for church donations from those adults who may be at risk, such as the recently bereaved.
  • Workers should ensure that church and personal finances are kept apart to avoid any conflict of interest.
  • If someone alters their will in favour of an individual known to them because of their church work or pastoral relationship, it should be reported to the trustees. Workers should not act as Executors for someone they know through their work or pastoral role, as this may lead to a conflict of interests.
  • Expert legal advice should be sought on matters such as Power of Attorney and Appointee ship to ensure that the situation is clearly understood and is the most appropriate course of action for the adult at risk.
3.2.6 Photographs
Workers should make sure that they have the person's permission to take a picture, and that the subject is happy with the intended use of the pictures.  When taking group pictures, workers should remember to get permission from everyone who will be photographed.
3.2.7 Computers
All church computers will have suitable parental controls and blocks put on. Although this is not failsafe, it will make using the computers for inappropriate behaviour more difficult, whilst also protecting any vulnerable users.  We have a policy specifically for church computer use, including terms and conditions for use as well as what will happen if someone breaches these conditions.
3.2.8 Record keeping
It is good practice to record pastoral visits or meetings, noting the date, time, location, subject and any actions which are to be taken. The record of these meetings should stick to facts and try to avoid opinion. Any records of safeguarding allegations, concerns or disclosures should be passed on to the DPS and stored in a safe and secure manner for at least 75 years. See GDPR Policy Appendix 2
3.2.9 Pastoral Relationships
All those involved in pastoral ministry should work in a way that follows clearly defined procedures, which set out the boundaries to protect those carrying out the pastoral ministry as well as those receiving it:
  • Workers should be aware of the power imbalance within pastoral relationships and the potential for abuse of trust.
  • Behaviour that suggests favouritism or gives the impression of a special relationship, should be avoided.
  • Workers should be aware of the dangers of dependency within a pastoral relationship.
  • Workers should never take advantage of their role and engage in sexual activity with someone with whom they have a pastoral relationship.
  • All people receiving pastoral ministry should be treated with respect and should be encouraged to make their own decisions about any actions or outcomes.
  • Workers should not pastorally minister to anyone whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Workers need to recognise the limits of their own abilities and competencies, and get further help when working with situations outside of their expertise or role.
3.3 HEALTH AND SAFETY - Safe Practice and Safe Premises
3.3.1 Consent forms 
It is essential that we have important information about all children and young people involved in any activities at the church, which is recorded on our consent forms. The first week someone attends workers must record their name, medical emergency information and a contact name and number.  Then they must bring their completed form back with them.  Similar details will be gathered for adults at risk.
3.3.2 Health and Safety
All activities for children, young people and adults at risk will comply with the church’s current health and safety policy.
Whenever possible, at all events involving food preparation, at least one worker will hold a valid Basic Food Hygiene Certificate.
Buildings being used for children’s and adult at risk groups will be properly maintained.

3.3.3 Fire
It is the responsibility of all group leaders/responsible persons within the building to ensure the safety of themselves and those who are in their care.  In addition, it is a legal requirement that all group leaders/responsible persons are familiar with the emergency procedures in the event of a fire.
3.3.4 First Aid
Our church has a trained First Aiders.(Tony Luton)  All church groups will ensure that they have sufficient trained first aiders on their regular team so that there is always a first aider present at events and activities.
We always bring the Church First Aid kit to any of our gatherings.  Completed accident forms should be handed onto a church leader and comply with our GDPR policy. 
 3.3.5 Supervision of Groups
For all groups specifically run for children, the person responsible for a group/activity must sign in at the start and end of that activity so that it is apparent who the ‘responsible person’ for that activity is – even if you were already in the building or are staying on afterwards.  You also need to make sure that you keep a register so that you know who is on the premises.
3.3.6 Risk Assessment
Before undertaking any activity with children or adults at risk, the leader will ensure that a risk assessment is carried out. It is advisable to appoint someone specifically for this task.
3.3.8 Insurance
Residential activity organisers will check that there is adequate insurance cover for any activities planned.  If the trip is at a centre it is also important to establish that there is appropriate public liability insurance in place.
Fire Safety
  • The event leader will have a fire safety procedure in place, which will include the following:
  • Everyone will be warned of the danger of fire.  If the overnight event is in a building, then everyone must be made aware of the fire exits.  A fire drill will be practised on the first day.
  • When using a building as a residential facility, ensure that the fire alarm is audible throughout the accommodation and that all signs and exits are clearly visible.  The building will also need to comply with fire regulations.
  • In the case of an emergency, ensure measures are in place to alert children and young people with disabilities (e.g. a child who is hard of hearing).
It is the responsibility of the workers to always know the whereabouts of every child/young person participating in an overnight event, and this may include monitoring access on and off the site.
General safety rules will be applied as appropriate (e.g. no running around tents due to the risk of injury from tripping over guy lines).

3.4.1 Bullying
Bullying is another form of abuse, and it can be verbal or physical. Bullying doesn’t just happen to children, often adults can be victims too.  There is no legal definition of bullying, but it is usually defined as a repeated pattern of behaviour intended to cause emotional or physical harm to another person, or exert power over them. The effect of bullying on the victim can be profound, both emotionally and physically, regardless of their age, ability or status.
It is important to recognise that bullying happens within churches, and it is not isolated to the children and young people. Anyone in the church can be a victim of bullying, just as anyone in the church can be the bully, including those in leadership.
Some examples of bullying that could arise in the church context are:
  • Being verbally or physically abusive towards another person
  • Isolating or deliberately ignoring someone, or excluding them from group activities
  • Spreading rumours and malicious untruths about another person in the church
  • Use of email, phone or social media to publicly challenge or undermine someone
  • Name calling and personal insults
  • Making false accusations
  • Sending abusive messages or degrading images via phone, email or social media
Bullying will always cause a great deal of pain and harm for those on the receiving end.  Many people affected by bullying, both children and adults, believe they have nowhere to turn. They are scared to speak out and often blame themselves.  They can become fearful and reclusive. It is important that churches are able to recognise when bullying is occurring and are prepared to take action to resolve the situation.
Some signs that can indicate a person is being bullied are as follows:
  • Withdrawal from group or church activities; appearing anxious, tearful or more reticent than usual, particularly in a certain context; development of mental health difficulties, such as depression or anxiety disorders; drop in performance relating to any church roles; physical injuries.
  • In order to help prevent bullying, the following procedures will be adopted within the church:
  • The children and young people will be involved in agreeing a code of behaviour for their groups, which makes it clear that bullying is unacceptable. This should then be displayed somewhere visible to the whole church.
  • The church will actively encourage the importance of valuing and respecting each other even in disagreements and this will be practically embedded into the leadership approach to others.
  • Everyone in the church, whether children or adults, should know how they can report any incidents of bullying.
  • All allegations of bullying will be treated seriously and details will be carefully checked before action is taken.
  • The bullying behaviour will be investigated and bullying will be stopped as quickly as possible.
  • An attempt will be made to help perpetrators change their behaviour.
  • All allegations and incidents of bullying will be recorded, together with the actions that are taken.
  • Incidents of bullying may be reported to the statutory authorities in line with the church safeguarding procedures.
It is important to distinguish bullying from other behaviour, such as respectfully challenging or disagreeing with someone else’s beliefs or behaviours, setting reasonable expectations with regard to work deadlines and activities or taking legitimate disciplinary action.

3.4.2 Working with Alleged or Known Offenders
When someone attending the church is known to have abused children or adults at risk, or a serious allegation has been made, the church safeguarding team will supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care, but in its commitment to protect vulnerable groups, will set boundaries for that person which they shall be expected to keep. These will be set out in what is known as a ‘Behavioural Contract’.
When it is known that a person who has been convicted of abusing children, young people or adults is attending our church, it is important that their behaviour within the church community is properly managed and that a contract is put in place.  There are also times when it will be appropriate to take such measures with a person who has faced allegations of abuse, but hasn’t been convicted.
In determining the details of the contract:
  • The DPS will inform and take advice from the thirtyone:eight contact.
  • There will be a discussion about who should be informed about the nature of the offence and the details of the contract.
  • The rights of the offender to re-build their life without people knowing the details of their past offence should be balanced against the need to protect children, young people and adults at risk.
  • The members of the church Safeguarding Team will always be informed.
  • The DPS should determine whether the person is subject to supervision or is on the Sex Offenders' Register. If so, the DPS should make contact with the offender's specialist probation officer (SPO) /Police Protection Officer who will inform the church of any relevant information or restrictions that they should be aware of.
An open discussion will be held with the person concerned in which clear boundaries are established for their involvement in the life of the church.  A written contract will be drawn up which identifies appropriate behaviour.  The person will be required to sign the contract and it will be monitored and enforced.  If the contract is broken certain sanctions will be discussed and considered .

3.4.3 Alleged or known offenders who are themselves adults at risk
A formal contract may be quite a daunting process for someone with learning difficulties or a young person, yet having safeguards in place is still necessary. Therefore, an alternative may be to arrange a meeting with the individual in question where they can be taken though the main elements of a formal contract in a way that is non-threatening and easy to understand. Notes would be taken and the individual would need to verbally agree to the requirements laid out in the meeting.
Rather than signing a formal ’contract’, the individual would instead sign to say that they agree with the minutes or meeting notes, and that they will stick to what has been agreed during the meeting. This will result in the same outcome as a contract, but is a more informal and appropriate approach for an adult at risk. The agreed requirements will need to be reviewed regularly to make sure that the individual is complying, exactly as a formal contract would be.

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
Sarah Findlay-Seivewright
01743 254408
Contact 101, or 999 in an emergency
West Mercia Police  0300 333 3000
Adult Social Services
0345 678 9044
Out of hours 0345 678 9040
Children’s Social Services
0345 678 9021
Thirtyone: eight
PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent. BR8 7UQ
0303 003 11 11

Understanding, Recognising and Responding to Abuse
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child or adult at risk. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child or adult by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children and adults at risk may be abused in a family, or in an institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults or a child or children. There are many different ways in which people suffer abuse. The list below is, sadly, not exhaustive.
Type of abuse Child Adult at risk
Physical Actual or likely physical injury to a child, or failure to prevent physical injury to a child. To inflict pain, physical injury or suffering to an adult at risk.
Emotional The persistent, emotional, ill treatment of a child that affects their emotional and behavioural development.  It may involve conveying to the child that they are worthless and unloved, inadequate, or that they are given responsibilities beyond their years. The use of threats, fear or power gained by another adult’s position, to invalidate the person’s independent wishes. Such behaviour can create very real emotional and psychological distress. All forms of abuse have an emotional component.
Sexual Involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.  This includes non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. Any non-consenting sexual act or behaviour.
No one should enter into a sexual relationship with someone for whom they have pastoral responsibility or hold a position of trust.
Neglect Where adults fail to care for children and protect them from danger, seriously impairing health and development. A person’s wellbeing is impaired and their care needs are not met. Neglect can be deliberate or can occur as a result of not understanding what someone’s needs are.
Type of Abuse Additional Definitions      
Financial The inappropriate use, misappropriation, embezzlement or theft of money, property or possessions.      
Spiritual The inappropriate use of religious belief or practice; coercion and control of one individual by another in a spiritual context; the abuse of trust by someone in a position of spiritual authority (e.g. minister). The person experiences spiritual abuse as a deeply emotional personal attack.      
Discrimination The inappropriate treatment of a person because of their age, gender, race, religion, cultural background, sexuality or disability.      
Institutional The mistreatment or abuse of a person by a regime or individuals within an institution. It can occur through repeated acts of poor or inadequate care and neglect, or poor professional practice or ill-treatment. The church as an institution is not exempt from perpetrating institutional abuse.      
Domestic Abuse Domestic abuse is any threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been in a relationship, or between family members. It can affect anybody regardless of their age, gender, sexuality or social status.
Domestic abuse can be physical, sexual or psychological, and whatever form it takes, it is rarely a one-off incident. Usually there is a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour where an abuser seeks to exert power over their family member or partner.
Cyber Abuse The use of information technology (email, mobile phones, websites, social media, instant messaging, chatrooms, etc.) to repeatedly harm or harass other people in a deliberate manner.      
Self-harm Self-Harm is the intentional damage or injury to a person’s own body. It is used as a way of coping with or expressing overwhelming emotional distress. An individual may also be neglecting themselves, which can result in harm to themselves.      
Mate crime ‘Mate crime’ is when people (particularly those with learning disabilities) are befriended by members of the community, who go on to exploit and take advantage of them.      
Modern Slavery Modern slavery is the practice of treating people as property; it includes bonded labour, child labour, sex slavery and trafficking. It is illegal in every country of the world.      
Human Trafficking Human trafficking is when people are bought and sold for financial gain and/or abuse. Men, women and children can be trafficked, both within their own countries and over international borders. The traffickers will trick, coerce, lure or force these vulnerable individuals into sexual exploitation, forced labour, street crime, domestic servitude or even the sale of organs and human sacrifice.      
Radicalisation The radicalisation of individuals is the process by which people come to support any form of extremism and, in some cases, join terrorist groups. Some individuals are more vulnerable to the risk of being groomed into terrorism than others.
Honour / Forced Marriage An honour marriage / forced marriage is when one or both of the spouses do not, or cannot, consent to the marriage. There may be physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure exerted in order to make the marriage go ahead. The motivation may include the desire to control unwanted behaviour or sexuality.
Female Genital Mutilation Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO). FGM is a cultural practice common around the world and is largely performed on girls aged between 10 and 18. Performing acts of FGM is illegal in the UK as is arranging for a child to travel abroad for FGM to be carried out.
Historic Abuse Historic abuse is the term used to describe disclosures of abuse that were perpetrated in the past. Many people who have experienced abuse don’t tell anyone what happened until years later, with around one third of people abused in childhood waiting until adulthood before they share their experience.
Whilst it is not possible to be prescriptive about the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect, the following list sets out some of the indicators which might be suggestive of abuse:
  • unexplained injuries on areas of the body not usually prone to such injuries
  • an injury that has not been treated/received medical attention
  • an injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent
  • a child or adult at risk discloses behaviour that is harmful to them
  • unexplained changes in behaviour or mood (e.g. becoming very quiet, withdrawn or displaying sudden bursts of temper)
  • inappropriate sexual awareness in children
  • signs of neglect, such as under-nourished, untreated illnesses, inadequate care.
It should be recognised that this list is not exhaustive and the presence of
one or more indicators is not in itself proof that abuse is actually taking place.
It is also important to remember that there might be other reasons why most of the above are occurring

The duty of the person who receives information or who has a concern about the welfare of a child, young person or adult at risk is to RECOGNISE the concerns, make a RECORD in writing and RESPOND by passing on their concerns to the DPS.  If he/she is not contactable, or they are implicated in the situation, another member of the church Safeguarding Team should be contacted instead.
Concerns should be passed on to the DPS within 24 hours of the concern being raised.  If anyone is considered to be in imminent danger of harm, a report should be made immediately to the police by calling 999.  If such a report is made without reference to the DPS, they should be informed as soon as possible afterwards.
A written record using the standard incident report form should be made as soon as possible after a child or adult at risk tells you about harmful behaviour, or an incident takes place that gives cause for concern.

The record should:
  • be hand-written as soon as possible after the event
  • be legible and state the facts accurately (when hand-written notes are typed up later the original hand-written notes should be retained)
  • include the child or adult at risk’s name, address, date of birth (or age if the date of birth is not known)
  • include the nature of the concerns/allegation/disclosure
  • include a description of any bruising or other injuries that you may have noticed
  • include an exact record of what the child or adult at risk has said, using their own words where possible
  • include what was said by the person to whom the concerns were reported
  • include any action taken as a result of the concerns
  • be signed and dated
  • be kept secure and confidential and made available only to the church Safeguarding Team (including the church minister), representatives of any statutory authorities involved and the Thirty one:eight.
If concerns arise in the context of children’s or adult at risk work, the worker who has the concern may in the first instance wish to talk it through with their group leader, where appropriate. However, such conversations should not delay concerns being passed on to the DPS.  It should be clear that the duty remains with the worker to record and pass on their concerns to the DPS.
If an issue concerns an adult at risk who does not give permission to pass on the information to anyone else, the worker should explain that they will need to speak with the DPS, who will have greater expertise in dealing with the issue at hand.
If a concern is brought to the attention of a group leader by one of the workers, the leader should remind the worker of their duty to record and report, and will also themselves have a duty to pass on the concern to the DPS.

The duty of the DPS on receiving a report is to REVIEW the concern that they have received and REPORT the concern on to the appropriate people, where necessary.
The duty to REVIEW
In reviewing the report that is received, the DPS:
  • should take into account their level of experience and expertise in assessing risk to children or adults at risk.
  • must take into account any other reports that have been received concerning the same individual or family.
  • may speak with others in the church where appropriate (including the church Safeguarding Team, unless allegations involve them) who may have relevant information and knowledge that would impact on any decision being made. Such conversations should not lead to undue delay in taking any necessary action.
  • may consult with other agencies to seek guidance and advice in knowing how to respond appropriately to the concerns that have been raised.
The duty to REPORT

The DPS will decide who the report should be referred on to, working in conjunction with the church Safeguarding Team where appropriate. They may:
  • refer back to the worker who made the initial report if there is little evidence that a child or adult at risk is being harmed, asking for appropriate continued observation.
  • refer the concern to others who work with the child or adult at risk in question, asking for continued observation where appropriate.
  • Inform parents / carers under certain circumstances, where doing so would not present any further risk of harm.
  • Make a formal referral to the police or local Social Services team.  With adults at risk, confidentiality means that someone’s personal business is not discussed with others, except with their permission. This is not always possible when considering passing relevant information about abuse or concerns to the statutory authorities, however, it is possible to keep the information confidential to the relevant parties. This means not telling or hinting to others what has been disclosed, not even for prayer ministry purposes. For adults at risk, concerns will only be referred to the police or Social Services without consent where:
  • the person lacks the mental capacity to make such a choice
  • there is a risk of harm to others
  • in order to prevent a crime 
  • If an allegation is made against someone who works with children* the allegation should be        reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) or equivalent. The LADO is located within Children’s Services and should be alerted to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:
  • behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against children, or related to a child
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to  work with children.
  • If an allegation is made against someone who works with adults at risk*, it should be reported to the police or Adult Social Services.
*If a worker has an allegation made against them, they should step down from all church duties until the incident has been investigated by the statutory authorities.  It may also be appropriate to put a Safeguarding Contract in place; this should be discussed with the local Baptist Association Safeguarding Contact.
Whenever a formal referral is made to the police, Social Services or LADO, the DPS should report the referral to:
  • The Safeguarding Trustee
  • thirtyoneeight
A record should be kept of all safeguarding incidents and should be considered in the annual review of the church’s safeguarding policy.  All original reports should be retained safely and securely by the DPS and a written record should be made of the actions taken. 


Responsibilities to REPORT and SUPPORT in stage 3 of the process are shared by the church Safeguarding Team.
The duty to SUPPORT
Once concerns, suspicions and disclosures of abuse have been addressed, the church continues to have a responsibility to offer support to all those who have been affected, including:
Victims; Alleged perpetrators; Children; Adults at risk; Other family members; Church workers; Church Safeguarding Team; Minister; Leadership Team.
The duty to REPORT
If a church worker has been accused of causing harm to children, young people or adults at risk this would be classed as a serious incident that should be reported to the Charity Commission by those churches that are registered with the Charity Commission.
If a worker has been removed from their post or would have been removed from their post because of the risk of harm that they pose to children, young people or adults at risk, there is also a statutory duty to report the incident to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Name of church     The Storehouse Church Shropshire
Contact details of church      07984389448
Name of Designated Person for Safeguarding (DPS)      Mr Tony Luton
Contact details of Designated Person for Safeguarding
Name of concerned person or to whom disclosure was given  
Contact details of concerned person or whom disclosure was given  
Date of birth  
Phone number / Email address  
What happened? (Nature of concern / disclosure made - use the person’s own words if known
When did it happen? (date, time)
Where did it happen? (specific location)
Who was allegedly involved and in what way? (includes witnesses)
Yes   No  
Have the carers or parents / guardians been informed?                            (Please tick)
If so, when and by whom?
Yes   No  
Have the statutory authorities been informed?
If so, please complete the table:
Authority Police        
Name Bobby        
Position Child abuse officer        
Email contact        
Phone contact 077999        
Contacted by Minister        
Date & time of contact 1.30pm
Yes   No  
What action needs to be taken?
Who is responsible for this?
Designated Safeguarding Person   Minister, or Church Safeguarding Team member  
Date & time   Date & time  

BODY MAP        
Name of Individual of Concern_______________________________________________________
Name of person completing this form____________________________­­­___________________
These diagrams are designed for the recording of any observable bodily injuries that may appear on the person. Where bruises, burns, cuts, or other injuries occur, shade and label them clearly on the diagram. Remember it’s not your job to investigate or to decide if an injury or mark is non-accidental. Listen, observe and pass it on.

Front                                                                                     Back
Signature _________________________________________________
Date and time ____________________________________________

This form should be completed by the Designated Person for Safeguarding
Name of church     The Storehouse Church Shropshire
Contact details of church      07984389448
Name of Designated Person for Safeguarding (DPS)      Mr Tony Luton
Contact details of Designated Person for Safeguarding
Name of concerned person or to whom disclosure was given  
Contact details of concerned person or whom disclosure was given  
Date of birth  
Phone number / Email address  
What happened? (Nature of concern / disclosure made - use the person’s own words if known
When did it happen? (date, time)
Where did it happen? (specific location)
Who was allegedly involved and in what way? (includes witnesses)
Yes   No  
Have the carers or parents / guardians been informed?                            (Please tick)
If so, when and by whom?
Yes   No  
Have the statutory authorities been informed?
If so, please complete the table:
Authority Police        
Name Bobby        
Position Child abuse officer        
Email contact        
Phone contact 077999        
Contacted by Minister        
Date & time of contact 1.30pm
Yes   No  
What action needs to be taken?
Who is responsible for this?
Designated Safeguarding Person   Minister, or Church Safeguarding Team member  
Date & time   Date & time  

BODY MAP        
Name of Individual of Concern_______________________________________________________
Name of person completing this form____________________________­­­___________________
These diagrams are designed for the recording of any observable bodily injuries that may appear on the person. Where bruises, burns, cuts, or other injuries occur, shade and label them clearly on the diagram. Remember it’s not your job to investigate or to decide if an injury or mark is non-accidental. Listen, observe and pass it on.

Front                                                                                     Back
Signature _________________________________________________
Date and time ____________________________________________

Hello and welcome to our church. If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

What to expect:

The following information is specifically for those planning a visit, so that you know, beforehand, what to expect on a Sunday morning.

Where and When

Sunday Morning Church is held at the local memorial hall (details below) for our weekly gathering. It's the best way to find out who we are and what we do & you'll be very welcome!  Everything starts at 10am.  When you arrive, you'll be greeted by someone on the Welcome Team who will guide you to the Margaret Oliver Hall

We serve excellent tea, coffee and delicious nibbles from 10am and this is a great way to meet people, catch up with friends and  simply take time to find your bearings. It's all free!

Plan your journey: 

Open Google Maps

Accessibility: There is wheelchair access, and a sound loop . Please let one of the Welcome Team know on your arrival and they will help you to get set up. There are disabled toilets in the main foyer.

Sunday Morning Church

SMC is our weekly gathering and begins at 10am with a warm welcome from one of our team members. Then follows a time of singing as part of our worship, led by our band. We typically have 2 or 3 songs (usually including one hymn) that  last approximately 15-20 minutes. Sometimes a person might pray out loud or read a small passage from the Bible. Sometimes one of the leaders might share things that they believe God is saying to the whole church family. This is all part of our connecting with God.  One of our leaders will then give a talk that is bible-based and that we can apply to our everyday life. We then share news and notices, usually about what’s going on in the life of the church and finish with more drinks and snacks. There is always an opportunity to receive prayer at the end of the service if you would like that.

images: Services

What about my kids?

We have a great programme lined up for kids of all ages:

  • 0-5s - at the back of the meeting room.  There is a generous carpetted area and a wide selection of toys etc. We ask that all children must be accompanied by their parent/carer.
  • 6-14s currently all meet together with age-appropriate fun materials used accordingly.
  • Young people (15+ years) Stay in service.

Children stay with their parent or grown-up at the start of the service for the welcome, songs and notices. We really value worshipping God all together as a family. At the end of the notices someone will announce that it’s time for the younger members to go to their  groups. You will need to go with your children to their groups and register them as part of our child safety policy. Whilst you are dropping your kids off at their groups, we pause to take time to chat to someone sitting near or next to us, giving folk a chance to come back before the talk begins.

The kids group activities vary depending on the age but usually there is a friendly welcome, bible stories, testimonies, praying, music, craft, drama, fun games and free play. Please pick your children up as soon as the service finishes.


Getting Connected

DEEPER@home groups

While Sundays are a great way to meet new people, DEEPER is a great way to grow in our relationship with God and each other. We have a variety of groups that meet throughout the week, some afternoons and some evenings. Check out Small Groups and see if there’s one that you could join, or we can put you in touch with a DEEPER group leader who will be more than happy to invite you along to their group.


If you want to get involved in the life of the church and help us make Sundays run smoothly, you can sign up to serve on a CREW. 

Other Ministries

We also run/support the following ministries:

  • Men's Ministries
  • Women's Ministries
  • Baby Bank
  • Foodbank
Get in touch with us to plan your visit
If you would like to come and visit the church beforehand you are more than welcome! Get in touch and we can arrange a time that suits you.
Email Address:
Comments / Questions or anything you would like to say?

Next, we will contact you by email to say hello and help arrange anything necessary for your visit.


DSCF3988   169112038 3455045334599336 510
Tony Luton   Ursula Luton
Tony leads the church with his wife, Ursula. He is a West Ham and Shrewsbury Football enthusiast, does lots of sport and has a huge sense of humour! Tony loves to teach the word of God.   Ursula is the tall one and loves the outdoors. She always has time for you and loves to chat over a cuppa. Ursula has a passion to see people enabled fully in their Christian walk.
We hope that whoever you are, you will feel at home at our church.

Best Wishes

(Handwritten Signature)