Safeguarding & Vulnerability Policy & Procedures
The Parish of St Peter's, Prestbury includes the churches of St John's, Adlington, and the Church of the Resurrection, Upton Priory. (For the purposes of this document, “St Peter's” refers to the entire parish incorporating all three churches.)
St Peter's adheres to the Diocese of Chester’s Safeguarding and Vulnerability policy and procedures document entitled 'Safe In Our Care' and as such this policy may refer the reader back to that document or other legislative documentation where appropriate for more information.
St Peter's understands safeguarding as an integral part of the life and ministry of the Church. We recognise and respect the dignity of all vulnerable people and we will strive to take all appropriate steps to maintain a safe environment for all and practice God's ministry to respond sensitively to their needs in order to keep them safe from harm.
Human beings are, by their very nature, subject to the changes of the world around them and opportunities that presents. Each person has strengths and weaknesses, abilities and limitations. At some time all are vulnerable to a wide range of pressures, concerns and risks. Nobody is without vulnerability. We may for most of the time consider ourselves strong, but we are subject to circumstances, and when these change our strengths can quickly disappear.
Some people, by reason of their physical or social circumstances have higher levels of vulnerability than others. It is the Christian duty of everyone to recognise and support those who are identified as being more vulnerable. In supporting a vulnerable person we must do so with compassion and in a way that maintains their dignity. Vulnerability is not an absolute. An individual cannot be labelled as ‘vulnerable’ as a child could be regarded as such. Childhood is absolute, until he or she reaches their eighteenth birthday, but that is not the case with adults.
Some of the factors that affect vulnerability include:
- A physical disability or impairment
- A learning disability
- A physical illness
- Mental health (including dementia), chronic or acute
- An addiction to drugs
- Failing faculties in the ageing process
- A permanent or temporary reduction in physical, mental or emotional capacity brought about by life events, for example bereavement or previous abuse or trauma.
However, within the above, there are many people who would not consider themselves to be vulnerable and who lead full lives independently, and the law recognises and endorses this through very clear definitions and thresholds of vulnerability. How people view themselves is important, and we should be deterred from passing our own judgement on the degree of a person’s vulnerability. However there is much we can do together, to enable all to live life to the full, maximise opportunities, and ultimately protect those who need keeping safe in our parishes, community and society. That is our Christian responsibility and which we endorse and promote within the Diocese of Chester.
Version 3 – updated 09/05/2016