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The Society of St Margaret

The Priory of Our Lady, Walsingham

A recognised community within the Church of England


Safeguarding Policy

The Priory of Our Lady


  • This policy was adopted by The Priory Trustees on 2nd March 2023. It will be displayed in a prominent position, reviewed annually, and amended as necessary.


  • This document will be reviewed annually at the first Trustees meeting of each year.


  • We recognise that everyone has different levels of vulnerability and that each of us may be regarded as vulnerable at some time in our lives. It is the responsibility of all those associated with the Priory to do their best to prevent the physical, sexual, emotional or spiritual abuse or neglect of adults who are vulnerable, and to report abuse that is alleged or suspected.


  • The Priory of Our Lady is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults. It recognises its responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from harm, abuse and exploitation and acknowledges its duty to act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse.



  • These policies apply both internally within the Society of St Margaret and externally regarding the ministries and pastoral work of the Sisters.


  • The Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) for the Priory is Fr Harri Williams. The DSP takes responsibility for safeguarding practice, awareness raising and safeguarding training provision and is responsible for establishing links with the DSA, Sue Brice. He is trained in safeguarding at the Senior leadership pathway level.

    • The DSP, Fr Harri Williams, is responsible for ensuring that there are processes in place to keep community members and other visitors safe from visitors who may seek to cause harm. Risk assessments for the Priory, guest cottage and chapel and activities carried out by the Community, are carried out and reviewed annually before the 1st trustees meeting of the year or when there are any changes to circumstances.

    • Any safeguarding concerns must be reported immediately to the DSP. In an emergency police or social services should be contacted first. A written record must be kept.


  • The DSP, Fr Harri Williams, will report any incidents or concerns to the DSA, Sue Brice, within 24hrs (excluding weekends/ bank holidays). If a matter is so urgent that it can not wait the police or social services must be contacted.


  • If the DSP, Fr Harri Williams, is uncertain whether a matter should be raised with the DSA, Sue Brice, he should raise it in any event and keep a record of the discussion.


  • Any serious incidents (including safeguarding) will also be reported to the Charity Commission in accordance with the House of Bishops’ Serious Incident Reporting Guidance for Religious Communities.


  • The Episcopal Visitor, Bp Peter Wheatley, will be informed about any concerns if they relate to the DSP, Fr Harri Williams, or the Leader, Sr Carol Elizabeth.


  • Safeguarding is discussed regularly by the DSP, and the Leader, at the Priory House Meetings at the first meeting of each month.


  • When recruiting employees and volunteers the DSP, Fr Harri Williams, will review each role to document the level of DBS checking and training required, and ensure this happens.

    • Responsibility for the appointment of workers shall rest with the Trustees.


  • As part of the initial formation programme, the DSP, Fr Harri Williams, and leader, Sr Carol Elizabeth, will discuss with anyone exploring their vocation to the Priory and anyone wishing to be an Alongsider about Safeguarding behaviours and beliefs, alongside values and motivations.


  • Two references will be sought before anyone can join the Community or live Alongside.


  • Trustees must be recruited in line with Charity Commission guidance.


  • There will be an annual review and dialogue about the health of the culture within the community to help prevent abusive behaviour and ensure any actual abusive behaviours are identified and addressed. This is carried out during Lent with the aid of the Chaplain.


  • The DSP, Fr Harri Williams, will ensure that all Sisters and, where appropriate, those working with us have received Safeguarding training.

    • The Sisters work at the Shrine and have contact with children and vulnerable adults and so all Sisters must do the basic and foundation safeguarding training.


  • The leader must have Senior Leadership Safeguarding Training.


  • All members of the Community are checked through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).


  • If a Community member is inactive, frail or sick and not assisting at the Shrine or parish training will be considered on a case by case basis by the Leader and the DSP, and agreed with the DSA.


  • The Leader has overall responsibility for ensuring the safety of the Sisters, visitors and premises.

    • Guest Booking forms with the names and contact details of all overnight visitors must be completed and returned before Guests are allowed to stay and kept in line with data protection principles.


  • Priory accommodation may be used by a Priest or Bishop who is licensed or holds a PTO , Ordinands, or someone from a Recognised Religious Community (or the equivalent for different denominations), a Trustee or an Associate of this House of the Society of St Margaret or a close relative of a Sister.


  • Two references are sought before anyone is admitted as an Associate.


  • The DSP, Fr Harri Williams, is responsible for ensuring that there are processes in place to safeguard members when they are working in the community, and where appropriate, will do a risk assessing any premises and activities with regard to safeguarding.


The person appointed as safeguarding lead by The Priory Trustees who will oversee the implementation of this policy and to represent the concerns and views of children and young people and vulnerable adults is Fr Harri Williams. Tel no. 01328 821316

Phone no.

01328 821 647

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