South Bedfordshire Circuit


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

  • promote the welfare of children, young people and adults
  • work to prevent abuse from occurring
  • seek to protect and respond well to those that have been abused


Coronavirus & Safeguarding Considerations

Please see updated visiting guidance - click here

Coronavirus and Communicating in virtual spaces including with children and young people

Please see Online Communication for Leaders Working with Young People produced by the Connexional Safeguarding Team - click here

Stay Safe online - click here

Please see the special edition of The Well for step-by-step guidance including safeguarding advice - click here

Safeguarding Practise & Coming Out of Lockdown

 Safeguarding Practise & Coming Out of Lockdown - click here

Coronavirus Risk Assessments and Checklists for Building Use

Covid - 19 Risk Assessment  Template - click here

Education in Early Years Setting in Methodist Property - click here

Other Property users in Methodist Property - click here

Re-Opening of Building Checklist - click here

Safeguarding Policy 

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 male and female in God’s own image and likeness. 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 therefore to protect them from harm.

Please click here for the Methodist Church Safeguarding Policy, Procedures and guidance 2019 document

Please click here for the South Beds Safeguarding Policy 2021

Please click here for the Church Safeguarding Policy Template

 Safeguarding Concerns

If you have a concern about possible abuse (including allegations):

  1. In an emergency, respond immediately.
  2. Consult the person to whom you are responsible.
  3. Decide together whether to seek advice or to make an immediate referral.
  4. Keep a record of what happened, your concerns and your actions.
  5. Tell your minister and/or safeguarding representative.
  6. Only tell others who need to know.

If a child, young person or adult wishes to disclose they have been abused:

  1. Listen. Keep listening. Do not question or investigate.
  2. Do not promise confidentiality; tell them we need to share this.
  3. Assure them they are not to blame.
  4. Tell them what you are going to do and that they will be told what happens.
  5. Make careful notes of what is said, record dates, times, events and when you are told.
  6. Report it to the person to whom you are responsible and your minister or safeguarding representative.
  7. Only tell those who need to know.

Things to remember

  • Treat everyone with respect, setting a positive example for others.
  • Respect personal space and privacy.
  • Ensure another adult is present or within sight or hearing of any activity.
  • Ensure any actions cannot be misinterpreted by someone else.
  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour.
  • Do not put anyone, including yourself, in a vulnerable or compromising situation.
  • Do not have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with others.
  • You must not keep allegations or suspected abuse secret.

Contact your Circuit Safeguarding Officer:  Shepherd Kombo on 07584 205497 or on email (please click)

Please click here for model template for safeguarding records.


Safeguarding Training

Creating Safer Space - Foundation Module Training and Refresher Training  & the Advanced Module  

FOUNDATION MODULE has replaced the Creating Safer Space - Foundation and Foundation Module Refresher Courses.  

From September 2017 the training interval for refreshers will be 4 years as per Conference decision in 2016. Using this pattern, the Methodist Church ensures that everyone in key roles receives this good quality training.


ADVANCED MODULE (previously Leadership Module) are to be attended by those who have already undertaken the Foundation session

Please click on links below for the guide on who needs to attend and the Essential Preparation and Participant Handbook 


Advanced Module  - Essential Preparation

Advanced Module - Participant Handbook


Training Currently Available:


Please contact the Circuit Administrator with any training requests:  Click here

Advanced Module

The CSS Advanced Module replaces the Leadership Module.
Note: You are required to have attended the Foundation Module before attending the Advanced Module.

Useful Forms & Practice Guidance

Model Template for Safeguarding Records

Link to Form

Users and Hirers of Methodist premises

Church Councils are required to ensure that those who use their premises under license (or who hire the premises for regular or occasional use) are given a copy of the local church safeguarding policy and declare their willingness to comply with the safeguarding policy of the Methodist Church or comparable equivalent guidelines and procedures (such as Scouting and Guiding national safeguarding policy). 

Depending on whether the arrangement with a third party is a one-off hire, regular part-time use under a licence or exclusive use under a lease, the requirements under charity law, Methodist law, policy and best practice are very different.

Please follow the link below for more information:


Keyholder Declaration - Form D

The Methodist Church is not obliged to give anyone access to church premises unless access to the premises is required as part of their role or for regular hire of premises. Before the keys can be issued the key holder is asked to sign the declaration and acknowledge the conditions of issue. 

Link to Form

Risk Assessment Form 

Link to Form

Safeguarding at Christmas &  Risk Assessments Templates

Christmas Letter from BEH Safeguarding Officers Please click for link to letter

Please click on links below:

Carol service held outside
Carols by candlelight service
Father Christmas - Santa visit
Nativity or Crib service

Safer Recruitment Policy and Practice Guidance

Safer Recruitment Policy
The Church of England and Methodist Church are committed to the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults, care and nurture of children within our church communities. We will carefully select, train and support all those with any responsibility within the Church, in line with Safer Recruitment principles.

Practice guidance for DBS checks (as part of Safer Recruitment) - Updated Jan 2018
This practice guidance is intended to support the work of those in the Church who have responsibility for safely recruiting people working with children and adults who are vulnerable. 

Download here: Safer Recruitment Policy Statement and Practice guidance for DBS checks (as part of Safer Recruitment) - Jan 2018

Volunteer with Vulnerable Groups - Form A

Form A Part 1: Registration Form with privacy notice

This form should be completed by all parties volunteering to work with children, young people and vulnerable adults. The privacy notice should be provided to the volunteer at the time of completion - October 2018.

Link to Form Part 1

Form A Part 2: Volunteer agreement with role outline

This form should be completed by all parties volunteering to work with children, young people and vulnerable adults. The role outline should be detailed by a representative of the appointing body and signed by that person and the volunteer – July 2018

Link to Form Part 2

Church Photography - the internet and publicity

Photography and video recording are important ways of recording Methodist activity and providing an historic record – illustrating and validating important moments in people’s lives and the life of our Church. It is, however, a powerful and personal process, and we must therefore respect the rights of everyone to make the choice whether or not to be photographed.  Please click on link to document.  There is a photography consent form at the end of the document. 

Confidential Safeguarding Declarations for Office Holders

All people nominated or holding positions in the Methodist Church must sign a confidential safeguarding self-declaration. Previously known as Form X and Form B.

Safeguarding self-declaration for office holders with substantial contact with vulnerable groups (Please click on link above for this form)

This form should be completed by all office holders and clergy (both paid and voluntary) applying for a role which involves substantial contact with children and vulnerable adults. It should be completed at the start of the recruitment process, prior to submission of a DBS application. Jan 2019

Safeguarding self-declaration for office holders without substantial contact with vulnerable groups (Please click on link above for this form)

This form should be completed by all office holders (both paid and voluntary) applying for a role which does not involve substantial contact with children and vulnerable adults. It should be completed at the start of the recruitment process. Jan 2019.

Declaration on renewal of criminal record check for those working with vulnerable groups (Please click on link above for this form)

This form should be completed prior to a renewal DBS check for roles working with children and vulnerable adults. Jan 2019.


 Who to Contact:

Church Safeguarding Officer - speak to one of the ministers or the Circuit Safeguarding Officer for contact details

Circuit Safeguarding Officer - Shepherd Kombo on 01908 379274 or by email  

Circuit Safeguarding Administrator - Marina Mele on 01582 665799 or by email

District Safeguarding Officers - Gill Crippen on 07793 012215 or by email or Jan Atkins Snow (Caseworker & Training) on 07860 451044 or by email

If contacting the District Safeguarding Officers with a Safeguarding Enquiry, Notification or Referral, please complete this form.


Safeguarding Framework See the Safeguarding pages on

Safeguarding and the Internet  See the Social Media Guidelines many useful resources, including research studies and fact sheets  The NSPCC Helpline:  0808 800 5000

Stop it Now a Freephone confidential helpline for people with concerns about child sexual abuse which gives advice, support, information Tel:  0808 1000 900  the Methodist Church children and youth webpage