Safer Places of Worship

Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons Including Children

Many churches and church organisations work with vulnerable people, for example the provision of entertainment, activities or care.

You must ensure that you have a process in place when selecting volunteers or employees who want to work with vulnerable people.


A number of requirements are imposed with regard to background checks on employees and volunteers and risk assessing activities.

A good example of how regulations can apply is the requirement that all churches registered by the charity commission have to have a child protection policy in place.

This includes:

  • how to respond if there are concerns or suspicions of abuse;
  • a named contact (and deputy) in the church to co-ordinate concerns and take action;
  • safe recruitment procedures for both paid workers and volunteers;
  • guidelines for running church activities with children and young people.

Your Central Organisation may have a child protection policy which you should adopt. If not, consider the guidelines from the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) http://www.ccpas.co.uk/. The CCPAS offers helpful guidance regarding obligations, duties, standards and how to comply with legal requirements.

Further guidance is available in relation to children:
www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/safeguardingchildren

and for adults guidance is available centrally from the Office of the Public Guardian
www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/protecting-the-vulnerable/mca/sva-procedures-guidance-1208.pdf

It is recommended that if you are in doubt as to your position you should consult your local Safeguarding Authority or obtain specialist legal advice.