House of Bishops' policy statements
The Church of England, in all aspects of its life, is committed
to and will champion the protection of children and young people
both in society as a whole and in its own community.
It fully accepts, endorses and will implement the principle
enshrined in the Children Act 1989, that the welfare of the child
is paramount. The Church of England will foster and encourage best
practice within its community by setting standards for working with
children and young people and by supporting parents in the care of
It will work with statutory bodies, voluntary agencies and other
faith communities to promote the safety and well-being of children
and young people. It is committed to acting promptly whenever a
concern is raised about a child or young person or about the
behaviour of an adult, and will work with the appropriate statutory
bodies when an investigation into child abuse is necessary.
The Church of England is committed to encouraging an environment
where all people and especially those who may be vulnerable for any
reason are able to worship and pursue their faith journey with
encouragement and in safety. Everyone, whether they see themselves
as vulnerable or not, will receive respectful pastoral ministry
recognizing any power imbalance within such a relationship.
All church workers involved in any pastoral ministry will be
recruited with care including the use of the Criminal Records
Bureau disclosure service when legal or appropriate. Workers will
receive training and continuing support.
Any allegations of mistreatment, abuse, harassment or bullying
will be responded to without delay. Whether or not the matter
involves the church there will be cooperation with the police and
local authority in any investigation.
Sensitive and informed pastoral care will be offered to anyone
who has suffered abuse, including support to make a complaint if so
desired: help to find appropriate specialist care either from the
church or secular agencies will be offered.
Congregations will often include people who have offended in a
way that means they are a continuing risk to vulnerable people. The
risks will be managed sensitively with the protection of adults and
children in mind.