Promoting a Safer Church

St Stephen's church is committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of everyone within our church community.  We have adopted the Safeguarding Policy and Supporting Documents produced by the Diocese of Blackburn which can be found at under Safeguarding on the top menu bar.

If you have a Safeguarding Concern or need any additional information then you should speak to either the vicar, Rev Dave Hanson or the Parish Safeguarding Officer, Mrs Julia Bell

  • As a parish we have adopted the House of Bishops ‘Promoting a Safer Church’ policy and the Parish Safeguarding Handbook, incorporating the House of Bishop’s Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance.  You can access the Parish Safeguarding Handbook from the link here.
  • Our PCC has formally adopted this and signed the Safeguarding Policy Statement Promoting a Safer Church.
  • If you have a Safeguarding Concern or need any additional information then you should speak to or contact either the vicar, Rev Dave Hanson or the Parish Safeguarding Officer Mrs Julia Bell  You can contact our parish safeguarding officer Mrs Julia Bell here  or the vicar, Rev Dave Hanson here
  • We have also displayed the Promoting a Safer Church poster prominently within our church.
  • It is our policy that all those we appoint to work with children and adults at risk undergo safer recruitment and receive safeguarding training and support.  Safeguarding training can be booked at Blackburn Diocese from the link here


Reporting a concern

  • Any safeguarding concerns in a parish should be brought to the attention of your local Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) in the first instance, who can seek further advice from Sharon Hassall, the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA), as necessary. 
  • Safeguarding concerns in a school/university/prison/healthcare setting should be raised with the relevant organisation's Safeguarding team. If the concern involves one of our chaplains, please also contact Sharon Hassall direct. 
  • Sharon's contact details are: 
Telephone: 01254 503070

Mobile: 07711 485170


Address: Diocese Offices, Clayton House, Walker Business Park, Blackburn, BB1 2QE

  • Links to the Diocesan Safeguarding Team can be found here:


Finding support

We understand reporting abuse may be very difficult and that not everyone may want to contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team. Below is a list of other agencies that are available to assist either on a 24-hour basis or through specialist helplines and services:

  • NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (lines free and open 24 hours).  Phone if you are worried about a child.
  • Child-line: 0800 1111 (lines free and open 24 hours).  Phone if you are a child or young person and are worried about anything.
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (lines free and open 24 hours).  Phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Samaritans Helpline: 116 123 (open 24 hours). Phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to.
  • Action on Elder Abuse Helpline: 080 8808 8141 (free phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm). 


Making the church safer for all

We are committed to making our local church a safe space for all and ensuring that everyone understands that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. The fact that abuse has ever happened within the Church of England is a matter of deep shame and regret. To make matters worse, the abuse has sometimes gone unreported because survivors of abuse have not been listened to or believed. That is why Church of England churches across Lancashire, which collectively make up the Diocese of Blackburn and of which our church is a part, are participating in a comprehensive safeguarding review.
This survivor-focussed review is known as ‘Past Cases Review 2’ or ‘PCR2’ and is looking at all the information a church might hold about incidents of church related abuse by those who have held positions of responsibility in a church – both recent and non-recent. The PCR2 work is ‘survivor-focussed’ as it is important the church continues to listen and respond to the voices of survivors of abuse.
Anyone seeking to come forward with information or make any disclosures regarding church related abuse is encouraged to make direct contact with the Diocese of Blackburn’s Safeguarding team. They can do so on a dedicated phone line or email: 01254 503093 and
Recognising this may not feel safe for those with a direct experience of abuse from within the Church, if you would prefer to speak to someone else in the first instance contact: The Police by dialling 101 or online at; Lancashire Victim Services on 0300 323 0085 or online at or the NSPCC on 0800 80 20 20.
There is a host of PCR2 resources, information and FAQs on the Diocesan website which can be found via the links below:
Frequently Asked Questions
Resources & Information