The Catholic Church of England and Wales, the Bishops and Congregational Leaders are committed to safeguarding as an integral part of the life and ministry of the Church. We affirm the One Church approach to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults through the promotion of a sustained and sustainable culture of constant vigilance.

The Church recognises the personal dignity and rights of all Vulnerable People towards whom it has a special responsibility. The Church and individual members of it undertake to take all the appropriate steps to maintain a safe environment for all and to practice fully and positively Christ’s Ministry towards children, young people and vulnerable adults and to respond sensitively and compassionately to their needs in order to help keep them safe from harm.

The Church authorities will liaise closely with statutory agencies to ensure that any allegations of abuse are promptly and properly investigated and where appropriate, survivors supported and perpetrators held to account.

Diocesan Safeguarding Commission

The Diocese has a Safeguarding Commission chaired by an independent lay person with extensive safeguarding experience in working with children and vulnerable adults. Other members of the Commission come from a range of relevant professional backgrounds in social care, health, family law, police, probations, criminal law and canon law. The Commission guides the work of the Safeguarding Team and is accountable to the Bishop and Trustees.

Responding to Allegations or Concerns

Where information about a disclosure becomes known to a person within the Church (or you wish to speak to someone about your own personal circumstances), then action must be taken to ensure that children, young people or vulnerable adults are not put at continued risk and a proper investigation takes place.

You can speak to a member of the Safeguarding Team or, if there is immediate risk, to the police or local authority children’s or adult’s services.  Contact details are provided below

Parish Safeguarding Officers: 

St Aidan’s Church:              Veronica Hetherington       tel:  0191 2340917 
St Bernadette’s Church:      Margaret Elliott      tel:  0191 2623853

Diocesan Safeguarding Team

Telephone 0191 243 3305 Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 4.30 pm


ANGIE RICHARDSON - Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator

MERIEL ANDERSON - Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor

ANDREW DUNN - Safeguarding Senior Administrator

YVONNE BROWN - Safeguarding Administrative Assistant

MARTIN DONAGHY - Safeguarding Administrator

CAROL HUNTER - Safeguarding Administrator