The introduction of Safeguarding Support Officers in each diocese will further strengthen the commitment of the Church in Wales to safeguard children and vulnerable adults in our communities.
Building on the recommendation of the 2011 Historic Cases Review, a Safeguarding Support Officer has been appointed in each diocese. These are the first such posts dedicated to safeguarding and will provide a new tier of specialist support to colleagues in parishes and ministry areas.
A key priority for the Safeguarding Officers will be to help deliver Safer Church training to laity, which will include the revised 2016 Church in Wales Safeguarding Policy. The officers will also be available as a point of contact to provide advice and support on safeguarding policies and procedures, including safe recruitment and the requirements for DBS checks.
The Support Officers will not be involved in the investigation of any safeguarding allegations or child protection concerns, which will continue to be reported to the Provincial Safeguarding Officers.
Speaking about the new appointments, Head of Safeguarding, Elaine Cloke said: “I am pleased that we are now in a position to work directly with parishes on providing advice and support on safeguarding policy, safe recruitment and to provide training to all who work with children, young people and vulnerable adults in our church communities.’
The diocesan support officer for St Davids is Lynn Rees, who started in January 2016. Lynn previously worked as a police officer for 22 years, with many years of safeguarding experience including as Detective Inspector for the police Public Protection Unit and as Staff Officer to Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary where he was involved in inspecting performance in police forces across the country.
Lynn is not new to the Church in Wales. After training for non-stipendiary ministry, he was ordained by Bishop Wyn in June 2016. Lynn’s home parish is Llanbadarn Fawr, where he lives with his wife and three sons.
Speaking about the role, Lynn states “I am very excited to be taking up this new role – protecting children and vulnerable adults has always been a key priority for me and is something I am passionate about. I am pleased to have the opportunity to use my previous experience and look forward to providing any assistance and advice that I can to colleagues in the Diocese of St Davids.”
Lynn can be contacted by email at email@example.com or mobile 07881016188 during his working hours