St Stephen’s Church regards safeguarding as a priority. In the interests of the safety and wellbeing of all children, young people and vulnerable adults, we operate a formal Safeguarding policy.

We are committed to…

Promoting a safer environment and culture.

Safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibility related to children, young people and vulnerable adults within the church.

Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation.

Caring pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons.

Caring pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons.

Responding to those that may pose a present risk to others.

Who to contact

Jan Smith

Parish Safeguarding Officer

tel. 07305 090468

Hannah Penlington

Youth and Children’s Advocate

tel. 07879 637939

Caroline White

Vulnerable Adults’ Advocate

tel. 07593 563024

Reporting abuse can be very difficult, if you have either been abused or are being abused now, there is help and support available. In addition to contacting Jan, Hannah or Caroline you may also contact Greg Barry, Lead Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (Rochester Diocese) on 07585 952174 or 01634 560000 or email

More information about support for victims and survivors is available on the Diocese of Rochester website.

More information

For more information, please visit the Church of England safeguarding page or the Diocese of Rochester safeguarding page. If you are a St Stephen’s volunteer and you need to complete the online Safeguarding Training – Basic Awareness (C0) and Foundation (C1) modules – please visit the Safeguarding Training Portal. Links to other useful organisations are at the bottom of this page.

As part of St Stephen’s commitment to children, young people and vulnerable adults, we have appointed Jan Smith as Parish Safeguarding Officer, Hannah Penlington as Youth and Children’s Advocate, and Caroline White as Vulnerable Adults’ Advocate. Should you have any concerns that someone you know is at risk of, or is being abused, or presents a risk to others, please contact one of them without delay.

Other useful organisations

DAVSS is a West Kent charity supporting men and women experiencing domestic abuse.

thirtyone:eight (formerly CCPAS) is an independent Christian safeguarding charity.

ChildLine helps anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re facing.