Recently nine Religious Sisters and three Religious order Priests attended an afternoon tea information session at the Pastoral Centre. The Hallam Safeguarding Commission is delighted to be formally aligned with four Religious Orders, including the closed order at Kirk Edge, (Carmelite Sisters: Monastery of the Holy Spirit). Although members of that Order were not able to be present, their prayers and commitment to safeguarding are keenly felt.

Bishop Ralph was unavoidably delayed in Birmingham, but Sr Clare Smith and Lisa Markham hosted a lively and informative session, in which joys were shared as well as serious matters considered.

Safeguarding with Religious s

The event was opened with a variation on the beautiful Franciscan prayer which exhorts us all to think about what we can do to change the world.

May God bless us with discomfort

at easy answers, half truths and

superficial relationships,

so that we will live deep within

our hearts.

May God bless us with anger

at injustice, oppression and

exploitation of people

so that we will work for justice,

equality and peace.


May God bless us with tears to shed

for those who suffer from pain,

rejection, starvation and war

so that we will reach out our hand

to comfort them and change

their pain to joy.

And may God bless us with the

foolishness to think

we can make a difference

to our world,

so that we will do the things

that others tell us cannot be done.


Following this, Sr Clare led an exercise in which participants were invited to share their ideas about what safeguarding means in their own faith community.

This highlighted that safeguarding is:

  • Making the world safer, especially for children and vulnerable people
  • Putting an antenna out/raising awareness / thinking about my safety too
  • Not taking advantage of vulnerable people
  • Creating an enabling environment to evangelise
  • Working with vulnerable people
  • A current/live issue
  • Based on scriptures – gospel imperative
  • Bringing people together
  • Building up legitimate trust
  • The glue that binds us together


Lots of information about other training accessible to all religious working with the Diocese, regardless of the alignment of their Order, was provided. The implications of the Goddard enquiry, particularly for Religious Orders, was considered (see Diocesan website).

It was said that a good time was had by all and “it did what it said on the tin”. There will be further events for those who were unable to attend.