New District Safeguarding Officer

We are delighted to announce that Howard Smedley has been appointed to be the Sheffield District Safeguarding Officer. He started in post on Monday 7 January. You can contact him by email:  or by phone on either 01636 815319 or 07758 239286.  

Sheffield District Safeguarding

Welcome to the safeguarding pages of the Sheffield District website. Here you will find our District Policy, which is reviewed annually, so that readers will see the scope of our safeguarding practice and how we aim to support circuits and individual churches to maintain their own best practice.

We also include details of the local and Yorkshire plus regional training opportunities that are on offer, as well as a link to the Connexional Methodist Church safeguarding website which is a rich source of information and advice. This site also provides numerous templates to help local churches develop and write their own policies.

Our pages include advice on safer recruitment practice and a link to our latest guide to DBS eligibility which has now been adopted as part of District policy.

Finally we will also post news items here about District, local authority or national initiatives to keep you right up to date with key developments in this key area of the church’s work. We will also publish links to these in the Weekly News published by the District office.

Contact details for the Executive Officer for Safeguarding are also set out below

Creating Safer Space

“There is a growing understanding that protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults is at the core of our faith. Safeguarding is about creating churches that are a safe space for everyone; a space where children can flourish and adults can live up to their potential. It is about enabling everyone to come to Jesus without stumbling blocks of abuse, ignorance, fear, compassion fatigue or the failure to recognise the experiences that so many carry within our communities.”
Elizabeth Hall, Safeguarding Advisor, Methodist Church in Britain

Creating Safer Space is the connexional safeguarding training framework and consists of two modules: Foundation Module and Leadership Module, which are mandatory for key roles in the church.

Are you a Circuit Safeguarding Coordinator?

You can download a Circuit Safeguarding Coordinator Role Profile here.

Are you your church’s Safeguarding Officer?

At the District Safeguarding Event in March 2017, we published a draft summary role profile to help local church safeguarding officers get to know what’s involved in the work.  We heard some positive comments about it, but also picked up one or two suggestions about  how it could better. We are now pleased to publish […]

Past Cases Review – June 2016 update

The Methodist Church published ‘Courage, Cost and Hope’, the report of the Past Cases Review in May 2015. A set of 22 recommendations for action were agreed at Conference in June last year, and this month the church has published details of what has been achieved to date. The PCR process began in 2013 and was designed to consider all reported safeguarding concerns since 1950, with the aim of ensuring that children and vulnerable adults are safe, and that the church has taken all possible steps to mitigate against any potential risks that perpetrators may continue to pose.

Church issues ‘full and unreserved apology’ to abuse survivors

The Methodist Church in Britain has today published the report of an independent review of past safeguarding cases related to the Church from 1950 to 2014.

Speaking on behalf of the Church, the Secretary of the Methodist Conference and General Secretary the Revd Dr Martyn Atkins has issued a full and unreserved apology to survivors and victims of abuse in response to the report:

Criminal Records/DBS eligibility checklist

In response to numerous requests the District has produced a new guide to help churches and circuits clarify which posts and roles require a DBS check and at what level. In June 2013 the Government introduced a number of changes to the eligibility criteria, but it has taken many organisations a while to become familiar with these.

Supporting vulnerable adults in our congregations and communities

A Guide to Good Practice.
This guide has been produced to help churches model best practice in their witness to and work with vulnerable adults.
Individual sections can be viewed in the Vulnerable Adults section of this website and a full PDF version is available for download in here
I have great pleasure in commending this new guide that aims to help our churches better support vulnerable people in their congregations and communities. The guide prompts churches to think about people who become vulnerable for a number of reasons at particular times in their lives and how our long tradition of pastoral care can offer support whilst being alert to potential risks that some people may face.
Rev Vernon Marsh – Chair of Sheffield District

Safeguarding Information and Resources

The Methodist Church Safeguarding website provides a wide range of information and on line resources that can help local churches develop and review their policy and practice, to ensure that they provide safe communities for children and vulnerable adults.

You will find the latest Safe Recruitment Policy that was published in June 2013 following changes to the national Disclosure and Barring Service, and the latest versions of the various parts of the Safeguarding Handbook. This can help with the development of local church or circuit policies.

Safe Recruitment

Recruiting safely to positions of responsibility and authority is an essential component of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults who are members of our churches or who use our premises. With recent national policy changes about criminal record checks coming into force, the Methodist Church has produced new policy guidance about safe recruitment practice, and a shortened 10 step version has been prepared which is posted here