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. The church is committed to the following:

  • 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.

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 Rob Marsh 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.

Jan Smith

Parish Safeguarding Officer

tel. 07305 090468

Hannah Penlington

Youth and Children’s Advocate

tel. 07879 637939

Rob Marsh

Vulnerable Adults’ Advocate

tel. 07941 388852

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.