We want St Mary’s and St Michael’s churches to be safe places for everyone, and we take seriously our duty to care for all God’s people in our two churches.

The respective Parochial Church Councils of St Mary’s and St Michael’s are both committed to implementing the House of Bishops’ safeguarding policies and good practice guidance, as detailed in the Parish Safeguarding Handbook.

A formal statement to adopt the House of Bishops’ “Promoting a Safer Church; safeguarding policy statement” was agreed by the Parochial Church Council for each church and recorded in the minutes of their respective meetings, most recently in each case at their meetings in May 2023 (in Offham) and May 2023 (in West Malling).

The local lead for safeguarding at St Michael’s, Offham is Julie Casburn. Julie works as part of a team of seven safeguarding officers for our seven parish churches in the Team. You can contact Julie here. You can also find out more about all our church leaders on our website here.

Safeguarding is a regular item on the agenda of all PCC meetings in both parishes. We follow the guidance from the Diocese of Rochester, and national church as it is issued from time to time, and we also follow guidance for all people working with children, young people or vulnerable adults and ensure they are safely recruited, have undergone appropriate training and are DBS checked. Safeguarding information is displayed at all our church activities involving children and young people and can be seen on our church noticeboards.

If you have been affected by abuse, however long ago, or if you are concerned that someone else is experiencing or has experienced abuse in a church setting, we want to help. You can either speak to one of our Ministers or our Parish Safeguarding Officer. If you prefer, you can go directly to the safeguarding team at the Diocese of Rochester. Their page for victims and survivors is here.

If you have any queries in regard to safeguarding in either of our churches, please contact us and we will do our best to answer your enquiry. The Diocesan Safeguarding Team can be contacted by calling 01634 560000 with a request to ask for the Safeguarding Team.