URC launches new safeguarding guidance

Last Updated on 23 October 2023 by Ann-Marie Nye

Two hundred and seventy-five people attended the online launch of Good Practice 6 (GP6), the United Reformed Church (URC’s) guidance on arrangements and procedures to safeguard children, adults and those in greater need.

The webinar, held on 12 October, was led by Sharon Barr, Designated Safeguarding Lead, and Kerry Baker, Policy Development Coordinator.

Themed “Safeguarding for everyone” the guidance provides a clearer structure, an updated set of resources, forms and templates, and more clarity on roles and responsibilities. It also features new material on topics such as adult safeguarding, technology, and serious incidents and emphasises support for those who have experienced abuse.

Another key change is the removal of the previous edition’s section on Health & Safety. This will now be covered separately on the ‘safeguarding’ section of the URC national website so that GP6 is more clearly focused on safeguarding.

Sharon said: “Our hope as a safeguarding team is that GP6 is seen as more than just another document that sits collecting dust until it is replaced by the next version. We want it be used as a guide throughout the denomination to make our Church safer for those that worship with us and that we are more able to support those who seek refuge in Church.

“I encourage all churches to use the guidance to inform their practice and promote its existence as we all have a responsibility for safeguarding, and as Christians we are created in God’s image and are called to ‘love one another’ as Jesus loves us. If that’s not the basis of safeguarding, then what is?”

A copy of Good Practice 6 will be posted to all church-based Safeguarding Coordinators, Synod Safeguarding Officers and Moderators. You can also access a free digital version of Good Practice 6.

Learn more about URC Safeguarding, or please email [email protected] with any further queries.