Every year as part of the safeguarding programme for every parish in Scotland, a statement on safeguarding is read out at Mass, and posted in a prominent place in the church. Until now, the timing of this has been left to the parish itself. We have tended to read the statement after the annual parish audit has been completed and submitted. In practice this has usually meant that the statement has been read out at Mass on a Sunday in or around April. This year, it has been decided that the statement should be read in all churches in Scotland at Masses on weekend 22/23 February. It is also now a requirement for all parishes to hold a service of prayer for all who have suffered abuse, and especially if this has been in a church context or setting.

The Day of Prayer this year is set as the Friday after Ash Wednesday, 28 February this year. Our parish participation in this day of Prayer will begin after the 10.00 am Mass with Eucharistic Exposition until 12 noon. take the form a service incorporating the Way of the Cross and prayers and petitions for victims of abuse and for their families. This service will be at 7.00 pm on 28 February. Please do try to attend.

Safeguarding Statement to Parish

To be read/distributed on the weekend of 22nd/23rd February

The Bishops’ Conference has stated that ‘the Catholic Church in Scotland is concerned with the lives, safety, wholeness and well-being of each individual person within God’s purpose for everyone. It seeks to safeguard the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults who are involved in whatever capacity with the Church and its organisations. As a Church community, we accept that it is the responsibility of all of us, ordained , professed, paid and voluntary members to work together to prevent the physical, sexual , emotional abuse or neglect of children, young people and vulnerable adults’.

Pope Francis has asked that our families are made aware that they have every right to expect that they are safe and secure in ‘Our Father’s House’.

As part of our commitment to Safeguarding, it is vitally important that we remember those who have been harmed or abused either by a member of the Church, members of their family or any other person. It is asked of us that we pray and care about them. Last year the Bishops of Scotland established an annual Day of Prayer for those who have suffered abuse and individuals and communities who are affected by abuse. This Day of Prayer is to be marked each year on the Friday following Ash Wednesday. This year the Day of Prayer falls on the 28th of February. This day allows the Church to renew its apology to anyone who has suffered and to stress its commitment to the essential work of safeguarding across our parish communities. In the parish of St. Matthew’s we will be marking this day of prayer With Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from after the 10.00 am Mass until 12 noon, and with a prayer service at 7.00 pm

The Archdiocese of Glasgow is fully committed to Safeguarding as an integral part of life in the Church. Both the Archdiocese and our parish of St. Matthew’s embrace the special responsibility we have for all children, young people and vulnerable adults who are part of our faith community. In our temporary church porch and of course in the newly re-opened church when that happens there  is a poster which highlights our Safeguarding manual and has contact details for the parish, the parish coordinator(s) and the Diocesan Safeguarding Team. Please make contact with them or the Parish Priest if you have any concerns regarding the abuse or harm of any child, young person or vulnerable adult.

Safeguarding in our parish is with us in all aspects of our living faith. Each year, as parish priest, parish safeguarding coordinator Karlyn s and volunteers in all aspects of parish life, we commit ourselves to these principles and to renewing and improving our practice. We adhere to the protocols and procedures laid out by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland in the document In Gods Image. These procedures, and the vigilance of those involved in the life of the parish, helps us to ensure that everyone should feel safe when they come to Mass, services, groups or social events.

Archbishop Tartaglia, and the Archdiocesan Safeguarding Team are grateful for all the hard work done by all our Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinators Karlyn Adams & Anne Marie McDaid, and all our parish volunteers who work with children and vulnerable adults.

Do feel free to ask for more information or clarification..