What is Safeguarding?

It is our fundamental belief that safeguarding in a Christian context is Gospel work - it is an expression of our love for God and each other, and in particular of our obedience to the command to 'Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before our God' (Micah 6:8)

When we are 'doing' safeguarding, we are not just filling in forms or following procedures. No-one was ever protected simply by a piece of paper! Following procedures is vital but it is not the heart of what safeguarding is about. Fundamentally, safeguarding is about the use and misuse of power, and the exploitation or protection of the vulnerable.

Given this, safeguarding is actually very much about how 'healthy' our church life is - if you find a church with a good safeguarding culture and sound safeguarding practice, you have probably found a church that is healthy in many other respects as well. In contrast, a church that is unhealthy in other ways - perhaps with a dominant or 'oppressive' style of leadership or a closed culture that doesn't allow anyone to really know what's going on - is unlikely to have sound safeguarding practice.

Safeguarding in a Christian context also takes account of the two primary things the Bible teaches us about human nature. Having been made in the image of God, we are uniquely and intrinsically valuable, but having fallen into sin we are uniquely corrupted. A Christian approach to safeguarding recognises both of these things - each person is made in the image of God, and yet fallen human nature renders everyone, even those whom we consider 'good', capable of causing harm to others. As Christians, therefore, we approach safeguarding with a determination to protect people from harm - especially when they are particularly vulnerable - and with a realistic view of what even apparently 'good' people are capable of. 


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