Welcome to the Department for Safeguarding

Dear Friends,

I would like to welcome you to the safeguarding pages of our Diocesan website.

Safeguarding is an essential part in the life and ministry of the Church. It is the responsibility of us all to ensure our parishes and institutions are safe places for all comers, especially those who are vulnerable. We all have our part to play. Safeguarding is the responsibility of everyone.

Abuse and harm have no place in our Diocese. The Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and I as your Bishop have a zero tolerance to abuse, harm or any behaviour that falls short of appropriate safeguarding practice.

Jesus welcomed children and blessed them. We are told that Jesus was indignant when anyone tried to keep the children away, “Let the little children come to me and do not stop them. It is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs.” (Mark 10: 14) Our mission is to bless people with the presence of Christ and never harm them. Jesus also makes clear about his view about those who seek to harm the vulnerable. He uses very stark words, “[…] It would be better that they are drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18: 5 – 6) Abuse is evil. It is destructive. It has no place in the Church.

As your Bishop I am committed, with everyone in the Diocese, to ensure that all diocesan institutions, our parishes, clergy, employees, and volunteers will take all appropriate steps to maintain a safe environment for everyone and put into practice Christ’s ministry towards the vulnerable. I ask, indeed I insist, that safeguarding is a standing item at all parish and diocesan meetings. This is to ensure safeguarding is embedded in our everyday culture and practice.


Read the full transcript of Bishop Stephen’s message here.


Click here to read or download the Diocesan Commitment to Survivors.

Click here to read or download the Diocesan Policy on Managing Allegations.

Click here to read or download The Isaiah Journey Guide For Survivors.

Click here to read or download the Safeguarding Service Complaints Policy and Procedure.

Safeguarding News

In December 2013, Pope Francis, who has declared there should be ‘zero tolerance‘ of abuse, established a Vatican commission on the protection of minors. In 2015, the Holy Father said that he wants to encourage and promote the Church’s commitment to protection and care “at every level — episcopal conferences, dioceses, institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life — to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults and to respond to their needs with fairness and mercy”.

In May 2019 Pope Francis issued a document which stated “The crimes of sexual abuse offend Our Lord, cause physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and harm the community of the faithful. In order that these phenomena, in all their forms, never happen again, a continuous and profound conversion of hearts is needed, attested by concrete and effective actions that involve everyone in the Church,… Therefore, it is good that procedures be universally adopted to prevent and combat these crimes that betray the trust of the faithful.” This document is universally known as the Vos Estis Lux Mundi and a full copy can be found by clicking here.

Support for Survivors

Reporting Concerns

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child or adult at risk, do not delay in contacting the police, if you believe there is immediate danger using 999.

If the incident is not ongoing or the person is not in imminent danger, ring 101 and ask for the Police Force for the area where the concern exists.

If you are in any role within the Catholic Church in England and Wales, you must refer allegations directly to the Diocesan safeguarding office or religious congregation, or directly to the Police.

If you are a member of the public, please refer allegations directly to the police and also to the Diocesan safeguarding office by tel: 0191 243 3305 or by email: safeguarding@diocesehn.org.uk.

You can also contact Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) Tel: 0207 901 1920.

If you wish to remain anonymous, concerns can be sent to CrimeStoppers 0800 555111 or online here.

It is the policy of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to report all allegations of abuse to statutory authorities, regardless of whether the abuse occurred recently or in the past, or whether the accused person is living or deceased.

You can find more information on how we may use your personal data when reporting abuse here.

If you wish to contact Bishop Stephen Wright directly about a safeguarding matter, please email bishop@diocesehn.org.uk.

Diocesan Safeguarding Team

Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm

Tel: 0191 243 3305 / 07940 390210

Email: safeguarding@diocesehn.org.uk

Safeguarding Coordinator

Meriel Anderson


07472 068014

Safeguarding Advisor

Ian Colling


07814 461447

Safeguarding Advisor

Andrew Grant


07553 740579

Safeguarding Senior Administrator

Safeguarding Administrator

Safeguarding Administrator

Safeguarding Administrator