Vulnerable Adults

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


Knowing your congregation and community

Churches exist within the context of their local community, with members and adherents both sharing a number of common characteristics as well as reflecting a diverse community with varied cultural and life experiences, some of which may well relate to how vulnerable people are looked after or cared for.


What is meant by vulnerability?

In 2000, the Department of Health defined a Vulnerable Adult as “a person aged 18 or over, who is in receipt of, or maybe in need of, community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is, or may be unable to take care of themself or unable to […]


Thinking about worship and church activities, including specific activities for vulnerable groups

It is helpful to take time to think about worship and activity spaces. Churches should provide clear access to all these areas.


What is the church’s unique contribution to supporting vulnerable adults?

As Christians we believe that everyone is created in God’s image and we have, therefore, a duty to value everyone and protect the dignity of all, especially the vulnerable.


What makes a good pastoral care system in our churches?

Pastoral care is a key feature of our Methodist life and so we can aim to build on what people already do well.


Adults in Hospital or Residential Care

Vulnerable adults in hospital or residential care, frequently express feelings of loneliness and isolation.


Recognising signs of abuse and knowing what to do about it

We have already seen that abuse is categorised under several headings, although it must be noted that more than one from of abuse can happen at the same time.


Supporting carers and understanding their needs

Our pastoral care ministry extends to those family members in particular who care for vulnerable adults and who may have their own need for support and guidance.


Further resources

Links to other useful resources