St John’s Muxton and St Michael’s Lilleshall



Vulnerable Adults

Policy compiled 2016
Last Review September 2022


The Parochial Church Council’s of St John’s Muxton and St Michael’s Lilleshall will take all reasonable care to ensure the safety of vulnerable adults for whom it bears responsibility. Our Safeguarding Coordinator is Janice Stackhouse and can be contacted on 01952 670033. If you are concerned that a vulnerable adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact our Safeguarding Coordinator or the Lichfield Diocesan Safeguarding Team on 01543 306030. If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority’s adult social care services.

We understand that illness, disability, race, mental health and other issues can put adults in a position of vulnerability.  We accept that these can be long term (ongoing), or temporary. We commit to considering this in our adults activities and events – undertaking supervision of staff and risk assessing activities and groups as a check and balance in our work.

To read about Safeguarding – Children and Young People click here

  1. Janice Stackhouse is our approved Safeguarding Officer and James Tagg is Deputy Safeguarding Officer for the calendar year 2022 and she is the point of contact through which concerns about children and adult safeguarding will be channelled. The Safeguarding Co-ordinator cannot be an active parish clergy member or a relative of clergy (this being a conflict of interest).
  1. She is responsible to the PCCs for ensuring that these procedures are implemented.

3. The PCCs will work towards adopting the recommendations of the House of Bishops as A Safe Church (2006): Policy for Safeguarding Adults

4. In line with Church representation and Charity Commission Rules it is essential for members of the PCC to undertake an Enhanced DBS check; if a member refuses to undergo this process they will not be allowed to serve on the PCC’s of St John’s & St Michael’s

5. The PCCs will ensure full compliance with Health and Safety Guidelines.

6. The PCCs are directly responsible for the following groups which include vulnerable adults.

Group 1) Congregational level: both regular and occasional
Group 2) Groups: where people meet on a regular basis
Group 3) Home visiting: where our pastoral teams visit people in their homes or other agreed places


These groups fall into 3 levels of responsibility as follows:

Group 1) Everyone’s responsibility to support and refer into more specialised support if required. C1 training required for group leaders.

Group 2) Everyone’s responsibility to support and refer into more specialised support if required; C0 & C1 training required. Group leaders will require DBS checks

Group 3) Pastoral visitors’ responsibility. All ‘visitors’ will require DBS checks and relevant training.

Events that fall into these groups are as follows:


Group 1)

St John’s Both Churches St Michael’s
Services regular & occasional Men’s Breakfast Services regular & occasional
Join Us Coffee Morning Pop In Coffee morning
A Novel Idea (Book Club) Worship Lunch & Music

Group 2)

St John’s Both Churches St Michael’s
Lunch Club Forget Me Not Films Home/small groups
Tiny Tots
Tiny Tots (parents/carers) Outreach Courses Choir
Home/small groups Bell Ringers
Community Choir

Group 3)

St John’s Both Churches St Michael’s
Pastoral outreach: congregation & community
Bereavement outreach: congregation & community
Prayer  Ministry
Baptism Visiting
Home communion
  1. The following groups who hire St John’s premises are required to satisfy the PCC that they have a Safeguarding policy. If they do not have their own policy, the PCC present their own Safeguarding policy for the group to adopt and implement: the principles relevant to their group in order to safeguard the children and young people in their care.
Name of Group Own policy St John’s policy
Slimming World ?
Painting club ?
Tiny Tots ?
Girlguiding: Rainbows, Brownies, Guides & Senior section ?
Aerobics ?
Wrekin Textile ?
Muxton Ladies ?
Lunchclub ?
Private Parties ?
Knit & Natter ?
In Stitches ?
CAP Money Course ?

James Memorial Hall

Groups who regularly hire The James Memorial Hall in Lilleshall are required to have and operate their own safeguarding policies. They should provide a copy of these for the inspection of the Memorial Hall Committee. If they do not have their own safeguarding policy or the Memorial Hall Committee decides that a policy is inadequate, then they will be required to adopt St John’s and St Michael’s policies. Failure by a group to assure the Memorial Hall Committee of satisfactory safeguarding arrangements will result in the hire being cancelled. The Memorial Hall Committee is responsible for reporting to Lilleshall PCC at least annually on the operation of these arrangements and ensuring that groups who abide by the St John’s and St Michael’s policies are made aware of updates. Sylvia Jukes is the named person for safeguarding for the Memorial Hall.

8. Safer Recruitment Policy: Leaders of groups: including both employees and volunteers

  • Applicants will be required to complete the Lichfield Diocesan declaration.
  • New Applicants will be required to attend interview
  • Policy form; for session leaders 2 references from the church community will be sufficient (Including 1 from the vicar).
  • Before appointment or the continuation of any appointment, appointees may need to apply for and supply clearance from the Disclosure & Barring Service.

9. Only suitable and responsible people may become key holders, references will be taken up in accordance with the Safer Recruitment policy and they will be required to complete the Lichfield Diocese Declaration. Access and Usage of Church Buildings will be monitored as far as is reasonably possible.

10. Completed declaration forms and references will be treated as confidential and held securely in the church office. In the event of a vacancy, the Rural Dean or Archdeacon will be made aware of where they are kept.

11. The PCCs will use the Disclosure & Barring Service for checking leaders’ criminal records where appropriate. This will be done via the Safeguarding Office, St Mary’s House, The Close, Lichfield. WS13 7LD. As of 2022 DBS checks are required every 3 years (not 5 yearly as previously required), following changes to safer recruitment policy by the National Church.

12. The PCCs requires groups listed in 6 to provide, in writing, at least the following:

  • A list of its current leaders and details of their roles, provision for training and support .
  • When and where the group meets, its normal working pattern and the age range it covers.

13. The PCCs will provide leaders, and those working in Safeguarding, access to guidance and training in the understanding of Vulnerable Adult abuse.

Training modules requirements::

  • Basic Awareness – accessible to all (Internet Module)
  • Foundation – Required for persons working with vulnerable adults, young persons, and children in any capacity (Internet Module).
  •  Safeguarding Co-ordinator Induction Module Compulsory for all Safeguarding Co-ordinators. (taught Module).
  • Safeguarding Leadership Training – Required for Safeguarding co-ordinators, wardens, Clergy/PTO’s/Readers. Must be undertaken every 3 years. (taught module).
  • Safer Recruitment Training. A representative of the Parish must complete. (Internet Module).

14. The PCCs will publish on the notice boards at the back of the church and in the Church Hall, a copy of the Diocesan Safe Guarding Flow Chart (available on the Diocesan website). In addition, all validated leaders and key holders will be given a copy.

15. The PCCs will carry public liability insurance and will insure all leaders and staff for personal accident.

16. St John’s and St Michael’s will ensure they have in place Insurance cover retention – that cover against claims made for damages by survivors of church-based abuse. Proof of insurance cover will be kept for a minimum period of 75 years.

17. Church Staff will not utilise church owned property for residency or shelter of vulnerable persons without informing the rural dean, archdeacon, or a Bishop. The diocese safeguarding team should be aware if this occurs. An appropriate risk assessment must be undertaken before using a vicarage building in this way.
This does not apply to visiting friends and family for personal stays and specifically applies only to the provision of accommodation in the context of a place of safety

18. The PCCs will implement a plan to monitor annually that the procedures are being followed.

19. The PCCs will make a copy of this policy and its procedures available, if requested, at The Archdeacon’s visitation.

20. This Policy and its procedures will be monitored by the Safeguarding Co-ordinator and sub group of the PCC’s who will report to the PCC’s annually.

21. The PCC’s will review the policy and its procedures annually in the month of May. The parish checklist will be completed annually.

22. Confidential notes of safeguarding incidents will only be kept where it is essential for the safety and wellbeing of people and should be recorded on a Cause for Concern template; All records will be kept in a private Dropbox folder of which only the incumbent and co-ordinator will have access to these records. In the case of a change of incumbent or Co-ordinator the notes will be passed on to the new post-holders. Records will be held for a 75 year period.

23. It is recommended that parish safeguarding co-ordinators identify their counterparts in other faith groups locally and build/maintain communications locally.

24. St John’s and St Michael’s via their PCC’s commit to operate in line with all Diocese and national level polices on Safeguarding and this will be recorded on PCC minutes

St John’s & St Michael’s Churches appoint Janice Stackhouse to represent the concerns and views of vulnerable people at our meetings and to outside bodies as Parish Safeguarding Officer.

Appendix A


Definitions and scope of this policy

1: Scope

1:1) We will seek to safeguard Adults from harm that may be caused to them by engaging with activities organised and promoted by the church and from general usage of the church both on and off church premises.

1:2) We will endeavour to implement a safeguarding culture and practice throughout our churches that will not prohibit or discourage an attitude of support, serving and love as demonstrated and taught by Jesus, in order to care for our congregations and communities.

1:3) We will risk assess our activities appropriately and take responsibility for our actions and decisions. We will report any concerns relating to the abuse of an Adult and fully engage with Social Care, Police, healthcare and other statutory agencies.

1:4) We recognise that our leaders and helpers are not qualified in specialised fields eg social work, health work etc and do not have the breadth of experience of such professionals and that, therefore, they should be held accountable in their practice within these limitations.

1:5) We will seek to protect & support our leaders/helpers & congregation members as they undertake their roles within the church with Vulnerable Adults in order to alleviate misplaced guilt where necessary.


2: Statutory Definition of Adult Abuse

2:1) Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of an adult that by virtue of permanent or temporary vulnerability or power deficit (for example a temporary illness or a long term mental impairment of the mind or disability); this disadvantages a person in protecting their own interests. Somebody may abuse or neglect a person directly (by inflicting harm) or indirectly by failing to act to prevent harm.

2:2) Adults may be abused in any context (family or in an institutional or community settings), but will most commonly come to harm by the actions of a person known to them who they trust. They may be abused by an adult with responsibilities to them or for them, or by another vulnerable adult (for example abuse by a resident in a care home against another resident).


3: Categories of Adult Abuse: as defined under the Care Act (2014): Abridged

3:1) Discriminatory abuse -includes: forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment because of race, gender, gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion.

3:2) Psychological Abuse – includes behaviours that can affect a person’s inner thoughts and feelings such as emotional abuse, threats of harm, deprivation of contact, humiliation, controlling, intimidation etc.

3:3) Financial abuse – includes theft, misuse or mismanagement of an adult’s financial affairs, arrangements, property or possessions including the acceptance of inappropriate gifts.

3:4) Organisational abuse– includes: neglect or/and poor care practice within an institution or care setting including poor practice in relation to care provided in one’s own home.

3:5 Neglect and Acts of omission – A persistent failure to meet physical/psychological need. This may involve ignoring medical, physical, practical and psychological need and failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support to meet this need.

3:6) Physical abuse– An intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person that results in a non accidental injury eg bruising, fractures, burns etc or causes a risk of harm.

3:7) Sexual abuse- Sexual abuse includes any sexual act to which the adult has not given consent to be involved in. This will include both physical and visual acts.

3:8) Domestic abuse – this occurs usually in the context of a consensual adult relationship and relates to any activity that restricts or removes autonomy and control of an individual over their life choices. It could include any other category of abuse. A common form of abuse that may affect the church is the notion of spiritual abuse. This is when a person’s freedom to express and practise their faith is controlled, reduced or removed under duress by a person with whom they are in a relationship.

3:9) Modern slavery – this is where circumstances, violence, constraint, or debt are used to undertake activities to the benefit of another person, persons or financial concerns without choice and for minimal, if any, financial reward.

3:10) Self-neglect – where the adult neglects themselves and involves the abuse of oneself. This covers a wide range of behaviour such as neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, nutrition, hydration, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.

For more detailed definitions and indicators refer to:

  • Department of Health guidelines on Care Act (2016) as pertaining to the safeguarding of adults.
  • Diocese of Lichfield: Safeguarding Policy (2017)

Definition of Spiritual Abuse

Dr Lisa Oakley the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service

“Spiritual abuse is a form of emotional and psychological abuse. It is characterised by a systematic pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour in a religious context. Spiritual abuse can have a deeply damaging impact on those who experience it.
“This abuse may include: manipulation and exploitation, enforced accountability, censorship of decision-making, the requirement of secrecy and silence, coercion to conform, control through the use of sacred texts or teaching, the requirement of obedience to the abuser, the suggestion that the abuser has a ‘divine’ position, isolation as a means of punishment, and superiority and elitism.” It can also include inappropriate use of prayer and deliverance ministry.

4: Capacity and its implications for Safeguarding of Adults

Capacity is the ability to weigh up information, consider the consequences of a specific decision that relates to one’s life, determine the possible actions, the consequences of each option and retain the information long enough to reach a conclusion and desired action. People who have capacity can still be vulnerable to abuse.

Although capacity does not define adult abuse – a person without capacity to make a specific decision will always be vulnerable. Hence as a church we need to recognise that as we expand our ministry (into, for example, dementia-safe churches), we need to consider the risks associated with capacity.

The 5 principles of capacity:

  • Principle 1: Every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions and must be assumed to have capacity to do so unless it is proved otherwise. This means that you cannot assume that someone cannot make a decision for themselves just because they have a particular medical condition or disability.
  • Principle 2: Individuals being supported to make their own decisions. A person must be given all practicable help to make decisions for themselves before anyone treats them as not being able to.
  • Principle 3: Unwise decisions: People have the right to make what others might regard as an unwise or eccentric decision. Everyone has their own values, beliefs and preferences which may not be the same as those of other people. You cannot treat them as lacking capacity for that reason.
  • Principle 4: Best interests: If a person has been assessed as lacking capacity then any action taken, or any decision made for, or on behalf of that person, must be made in his or her best interests.
  • Principle 5: Less restrictive option: Someone making a decision or acting on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must consider whether it is possible to decide or act in a way that would interfere less with the person’s rights and freedoms of action; any intervention should be proportional to the particular circumstances of the case.

For more detailed definitions and indicators refer to:

  • Department of Health guidelines on Care Act (2016) as pertaining to the safeguarding of adults.

Diocese of Lichfield: Safeguarding Policy (2017)


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