Reporting concerns or abuse

Despite all of the protective measures we may put in place, those who are determined to exploit and abuse others can sometimes find a way to do so.

If you are a victim or survivor of abuse that happened in a church setting, whether it happened yesterday or many years ago, in this diocese or elsewhere, and you would like to talk to someone about what happened to you, please get in touch with us.

Abuse is never the fault of the child or vulnerable person who was abused, and it is always the responsibility of a person in a position of power or trust to ensure that appropriate boundaries are maintained, and that children and other people in their care who are vulnerable to abuse or neglect are kept safe.

Contact us

Please do contact us if you have any safeguarding concerns. You will be treated with courtesy and respest.

You can find the safeguarding team’s contact details at the bottom of the page. We try to be available in the office Monday to Friday, but if we are out of the office please leave a message and we will contact you as soon as possible.

For out of hours emergency calls or concerns that cannot wait until the next working day you can reach us on 07834 514842. Please note this is not manned 24-hours a day, but if you leave a message you will receive a call back as soon as practicable.

If you prefer you can email Safeguarding.

If you wish to make a complaint about a member of diocesan staff, you can download our complaints policy below.

If you have a concern about the behaviour of a member of clergy, you can also contact the Chaplain and Adviser to the Bishops, Kate Scott.

Making a confidential disclosure

There may be occasions when you do not feel able to provide your personal details with a safeguarding concern. In this instance, you can write to Ben Goodhind, Safeguarding Manager, Diocese of Bath and Wells, Flourish House, Wells BA5 1FD.

What happens next?

Once we become aware that someone has failed in their duty to protect others and maintain those appropriate boundaries, we will take action to protect you and others that may be vulnerable.

We are here to help you, and will keep what you tell us confidential unless you give us permission to share it, or unless it’s clear that someone else is still at risk from the person who abused you, in which case we may need to inform the Police or Social Services. We will not publicly identify you or share any information about you without your permission.

If you would like us to, we can arrange support for you. Please contact us to discuss the options available.

We will work alongside you with other professionals such as the police to investigate the abuse, take action to protect you and others who may be at risk, and review our practices so that people will be better protected in the future.

Further support

Safe Spaces

A new service providing vital support for survivors of church-related abuse is now operational.

Safe Spaces, commissioned by the Anglican and Catholic Churches in England and Wales, will be run by Victim Support, a national charity with a track record of providing survivor support.

NSPCC

If you want to contact a confidential source of support that is independent of the Church, the NSPCC is a charity that specialises in child protection and takes action to safeguard children at risk of abuse. Action on elder abuse is a charity working to protect and prevent the abuse of vulnerable older adults, and they provide knowledge, expertise and support to thousands of people every year.

Who to contact

Ben Goodhind, Safeguarding Manager

Kate Scott, Bishops' Chaplain

Andrew Duncan, Safeguarding Adviser

Downloads

Confidential incident report form

Diocesan complaints policy

Making a complaint about a member of clergy

Diocesan statement on domestic abuse