Safeguarding is everyone’s business

The Parochial Church Council (PCC) of St Peter’s Birstall takes its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children and vulnerable adults seriously. The PCC adopted the Diocese of Leeds Safeguarding Policy at its meeting on 13th May 2019 (see the associated statement from the PCC).

Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO)

Name: Janice Mitchell
Telephone: 07789726065

Diocesan Safeguarding Team

Team email:
Office number: 01133530257

Diocesan Safeguarding Advisors

Carla Darbyshire

Jenny Leccardi

Narinder Lyon

Nikki Rose

Please note that the team are working from home until further notice.

DSA’s remain available between 09.00 and 17.00, Monday to Friday.

If a child or adult is at immediate risk of significant harm, in the first instance you should always contact 999 or your local social services team, or local police (call101). You must then inform the Diocesan Safeguarding Team.

Please note: Gail O’Neill, DBS and Safeguarding Administrator, remains responsible for DBS checks and the organisation of training courses. If you have safeguarding enquiry that does not require the assistance of a Safeguarding Advisor (e.g. DBS. or training) please contact Gail directly at or 0113 3530204.

National Helplines

Childline: 0800 1111
NSPCC: 0808 500 8000
Samaritans: 08457 909090
Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 200 0247

Here is an introduction to Safeguarding from our Parish Safeguarding Officer, Janice Mtchell.

Every person has a value and dignity which comes directly from the creation of male and female in God’s own image and likeness. Christians see this potential 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 therefore to protect them from harm and abuse. When we are concerned about safeguarding, therefore, we are following Christ’s teaching by loving our neighbour as ourselves.

There are many areas of abuse that we are safeguarding against, which can be categorised into the following: physical, sexual, financial, emotional and spiritual.

I am the church Safeguarding Officer for St Peter’s and it is my duty to act, if it is suspected that anyone is being abused. There are also some Safeguarding Friends who are people that have volunteered to lead activities and groups in church, who can listen to any concerns that may arise. These people will seek help for those in need by confidentially discussing the problem in order to find the best way forward. Safeguarding is everyone’s business, so you can seek help if you suspect that anyone is suffering from abuse. There is a list of contacts on the poster in Fellowship Area of the church for your use, if necessary.

For everyone’s protection, those who are in charge of groups of children and vulnerable adults at St Peters must be DBS checked to prove they haven’t been convicted of any crime which bars them from being responsible leaders. Those who assist with these groups are required to sign a self disclosure document in which they confirm that they haven’t been convicted of any such crimes. However, if someone hasn’t a clear police record, that doesn’t necessarily bar them from volunteering in church but their responsibilities will be limited and they will have support.

If you have any questions about safeguarding, please don’t hesitate to ask.

We will continue to be a welcoming and caring church community for all people.

Safeguarding training

The Diocese of Leeds provides training in Safeguarding. If you would like more information please contact Sue Lawson, or the Diocese directly.

Promoting a safer church

Further information can be found in the ‘Promoting a Safer Church’ policy booklet produced by the Church of England House of Bishops. You can also download our ‘Promoting a Safer Church’ policy poster here.

Download the 'Promoting a Safer Church' policy booklet

Safeguarding in the parish – who’s who?

The priest in charge

Jess Davis

The churchwardens

Andy Rhodes

The Parish Safeguarding Officer

Janice Mitchell, 07789726065

The team of licensed/accredited ministers

Wendy Harper, Philip and Ann Wall

Hall managers and bookers

Denise Gosling

Employed staff

Paid cleaner works with Denise Gosling

Co-ordinators of work in the church related to children, young people, adults at risk (Sunday School, youth club, visiting team)

Junior Church:

Mother and Toddler group: Jean Franklin

Visiting team: Elaine Jackson, Alison Sowden, Solly Wilson

Other children, youth and adults at risk workers?

Junior Church

  • Diana Lister
  • Jan Mitchell
  • Katharine Taylor
  • Penny Watson-Walker
  • Solly Wilson

Mother and Toddler Group

  • Margaret Bell
  • Pauline Cowen
  • John Franklin
  • Eve Locket
  • Trish Winn

Those to talk to if you observe or are told about Safeguarding concerns

Janice Mitchell PSO, or a Safeguarding Friend (details on St Peters notice board)

All Contact numbers can be found in the Parish Directory.