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.
You can find the safeguarding team’s contact details on the top right 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. Out of hours you can reach us on 07834 514842.
If you prefer you can email us or write to Safeguarding, Diocese of Bath and Wells, The Old Deanery, Wells BA5 2UP.
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 Senior Advisor and Chaplain to the Bishops, Rev Preb Stephen Lynas.
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 from one of our authorised listeners (people in churches specially trained to help those who have been abused) or from a counsellor outside of the Church.
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.
If you want to contact a confidential source of support that is independent of the Church, Stop It Now is an organisation set up to tackle child and vulnerable adult abuse, and provide support to victims. They can also help if you are worried about your own or someone else’s behaviour towards a child or vulnerable adult.