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Waterside Methodist Church Policy updated October 2023


The Methodist Church, along with the whole Christian Community, believes each person has a value and dignity which comes directly from God’s creation of humankind in His own image and likeness. As the Psalmist reflects: ‘What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour.’ Ps 8 v 4-5.

Christians see this as fulfilled by God’s re-creation of us in Christ. Among other things, this implies a duty to value all people as bearing the image of God and equally loved by God, and therefore to protect them from harm.

The way we treat people is a gospel imperative. We don’t seek to provide safer spaces because the Government tell us to, or because we need to do safeguarding to get grants, or to keep our insurance valid. We do it because it is what God wants of us.

In John 10 v 10 we read that Jesus said:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

Anyone who abuses a child, young person or vulnerable adult is a thief who will steal innocence, and trust, and faith, and joy, and will kill hope and love and laughter and will destroy the right to safety. The thief is the one who abuses.

Jesus said:

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Jesus came that they, that we, might have life and to have it to the full. A life where all are valued and respected and nurtured and protected. Where we have a safe space in which we can be nourished and enabled and supported to reach our full potential.

And we all have a part to play in that because:

Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility

Safeguarding should be at the centre of what we do. Safeguarding isn’t something we do because the government tells us to. Or Connexion tells us to. Or the District Chair tells us to. Safeguarding is a Gospel imperative. If we get this wrong, we can have the best outreach / evangelism / children’s / seniors / whatever ministry going and it will be tarnished and diminished by our lack of right treatment.

Southampton Methodist District is committed to safeguarding as an integral part of our life and ministry. Safeguarding is about the action the Church takes to promote a safer culture. This means we will: 

  • work to prevent abuse from occurring;

  • seek to protect, respond well and care pastorally for those that have been abused;

  • identify where a person may pose a risk to others and offer support to enable them to engage with the church whilst taking steps to mitigate such risk;

  • promote a safer environment and culture;

  • safely recruit and support all those with any role or responsibility related to children and adults at risk of harm within the church;

  • respond promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation;

  • care for those who are subject to concerns or allegations.

If you are reading this because you need some support, advice or guidance about a safeguarding matter then you are in the right place – we are here to help. There is no such thing as a ‘stupid’ question, or a ‘niggle’ too small.

Any concerns, or for information ring

District Safeguarding Officer: Jane Fisher on 07840 186814

or email


Waterside Methodist Church Safeguarding Officer: Claire Milgate-Witcher 07762 747656

A copy of the full Waterside Methodist Church Safeguarding Policy can be downloaded HERE

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