Reporting abuse and finding support

If you have information about a safeguarding situation where a child or adult is in immediate danger or requires immediate medical attention call the emergency services on 999. Do not delay.

Reporting abuse may be very difficult and distressing. Here are the contact details of other agencies that are available to assist either on a 24-hour basis or through specialist helplines and services:

  • NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are worried about a child.
  • Child-line: 0800 1111 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are a child or young person and are worried about anything.
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Samaritans Helpline: 08457 90 90 90 (open 24 hours). Phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to.
  • Action on Elder Abuse Helpline: 080 8808 8141 ( free phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm)

Safeguarding in the Church of England

All people are made in the image of God and are intricately and lovingly created by God. Everyone has a responsibility to care and protect one another. Safeguarding across the Church of England happens on three levels: National, Regional and Local. Nationally there is a National Safeguarding Team (NST), taking the lead to promote Safeguarding, raise awareness and develop effective policies. If you wish to report any safeguarding concerns directly to the NST please email They will ensure that any concerns are referred to the Dicoese and/or statutory agency, as appropriate.

The nationally produced Parish Safeguarding Handbook is a great resources to help churches protect, respond, train, recruit and care. Click on the link above to download the handbook.

Safeguarding in the Diocese of Blackburn

Regionally, the Diocese of Blackburn has a safeguarding team. Here are the the contact details for the Safeguarding Team:

  • Cath Smith – Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. Telephone: 07711 485170 or email.
  • Sophie Booth – Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. Telephone: 07468 971759 or email.
  • Claudia Aspey – Safeguarding Administrator. Telephone: 01254 503088 or email.

The safeguarding team are based at the Diocesan offices at Clayton House, Walker Office Park, Blackburn, BB1 2QE, telephone 01254 503070.

Safeguarding in the Parish of Christ Church Thornton

The Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) at Christ Church is Mr David Taylor. Telephone: 07702 836938. If you have any questions or concerns relating to Safeguarding at Christ Church Thornton, please contact the Parish Safeguarding Officer, the Vicar, Churchwardens or Parish Manager.

Or if it is inappropriate to speak to them, please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (telephone: 07711 485170 or email).

Our Policy Statement 'Promoting a Safer Church'

In accordance with the Church of England Safeguarding Policy Christ Church Thornton is 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.

The Parish will:

  • Create a safe and caring place for all.
  • Have a named Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) to work with the incumbent and the PCC to implement policy and procedures.
  • Safely recruit, train and support all those with any responsibility for children, young people and adults to have the confidence and skills to recognise and respond to abuse.
  • Ensure that there is appropriate insurance cover for all activities involving children and adults undertaken in the name of the parish.
  • Display in church premises and on the Parish website the details of who to contact if there are safeguarding concerns or support needs.
  • Listen to and take seriously all those who disclose abuse.
  • Take steps to protect children and adults when a safeguarding concern of any kind arises, following House of Bishops guidance, including notifying the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA) and statutory agencies immediately.
  • Offer support to victims/survivors of abuse regardless of the type of abuse, when or where it occurred.
  • Care for and monitor any member of the church community who may pose a risk to children and adults whilst maintaining appropriate confidentiality and the safety of all parties.
  • Ensure that health and safety policy, procedures and risk assessments are in place and that these are reviewed annually.
  • Review the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy, Procedures and Practices at least annually.

Each person who works within this church community will agree to abide by this policy and the guidelines established by this church.