Safeguarding at Oxford Evangelical Presbyterian Church
In line with the model of servant leadership set out in scripture, we affirm that abuse in all its forms is wrong before the Lord and deeply damaging to the victims. Where the elders and/or trustees of Oxford EPC become aware of allegations of illegal activity, we undertake to report them to the statutory authorities.
We are also painfully aware of the reality that Church leaders, and others involved in teaching, mentoring and pastoral care in church settings, can behave in ways that, whilst not illegal, fall short of the standards expected of those exercising pastoral responsibility. These behaviours may range from serious misconduct (including coercion or control) to simply being unwise in relating to others. Under the guidance of our church safeguarding policy and the EPCEW book of order, and congruent with our registration with the independent Christian charity thirtyone:eight, we are committed first and foremost to abuse prevention. We seek to create and maintain an open culture where people with responsibility in our church can be challenged, and where safeguarding is a central concern in the recruitment, clearance, and training of volunteers and post holders. Where prevention has failed an cure is required, we undertake to launch appropriate disciplinary action where it is needed. Where an elder or trustee minister is found guilty of misconduct their fitness for office will be reassessed and, where appropriate, they will be removed from their role.
OEPC recognises the lasting legacy of abusive behaviours on their victims and commits both to address this issue in its public teaching and to sensitively pastor members of the fellowship traumatised by abusive behaviours in the past, recommending Christian counsellors and other professional services as needed.
Reporting Safeguarding Concerns
Any allegation or concern regarding the abuse of a child or vulnerable adult must be treated seriously and reported as soon as possible. A concern can arise when you observe or suspect abusive behaviour, when an allegation is made or disclosed, or where there are indicators (signs and symptoms) of suspected abuse on the victim.
There are two ways for you to report a safeguarding concern:
Report to the Church Safeguarding Officer, Helen Cowan
Phone: 07813 753097
Contact the Clerk of our Presbytery, Falko Drijfhout
All concerns raised will be investigated thoroughly and action taken in line with Oxford EPC’s safeguarding policies and procedures. Confidentiality will be maintained to the fullest practical extent. The main exceptions are when the law requires disclosure, or when someone is at risk.
If you would like to report a concern or seek advice outside of Oxford EPC or our Presbytery, please contact: