Over the past number of weeks there have been a series of events organised by Bishop Noel Treanor in conjunction with the Diocesan Safeguarding Office.
The purpose of the events was not only to reflect on the work being undertaken by the Safeguarding Committees but more importantly to provide an opportunity for Bishop Treanor and the Safeguarding office to personally thank PSC (Parish safeguarding Committees) Chairs and nominated committee members for all their hard work, time and commitment they have shown to Safeguarding over the years.
Three Parish Safeguarding Committee events were held in Belfast, Castlewellan and Ballymena. The evening started with Vespers (evening prayers) led by Fr Peter Owens, the Episcopal Vicar for Safeguarding, and Fr Eugene O’Hagan the Diocesan Chancellor. This was then followed by a delightful informal sit down supper.
There were a number of very skilled musicians at the events who shared their talents with those gathered. Their contribution was much appreciated by all present and greatly enhanced the occasion.
The events were well supported by Parish Safeguarding Committee Chairs and a nominated representative from each Committee. The evening events afforded the Diocese and the Safeguarding Office with a real opportunity to acknowledge all the selfless commitment, dedication and hard work shown by those who strive to ensure there is an arena of Safeguarding within Parishes. It was also an occasion to meet informally, to chat and to reflect on the significant safeguarding role played by the PSC’s.
The gathering of so many of our PSC Chairs was a gentle reminder that PSC work is undertaken by volunteers within Down and Connor who are committed to promoting best practice for the safety and welfare of children and young people throughout the diocese.
The events also provided an opportunity for the Safeguarding Office to reflect on the work undertaken thus far in the arena of Safeguarding and share with those present some of the challenges ahead.
Bishop Noel Treanor addressing the parish volunteers at these events said: “Tremendous steps have been taken to embed and monitor the highest of safeguarding standards and procedures to ensure that the Church and wider society is a safe environment for children, young people and vulnerable adults. This ongoing safeguarding work is a testimony to the ongoing professionalism of the Diocesan Safeguarding Office and the commitment of hundreds of volunteers across the Diocese of Down and Connor. I commend and pay tribute to your work upon Parish Safeguarding Committee’s and your ongoing faith-filled dedication in the service of our young people and vulnerable adults.”