Survivor Care and Support

Safe Spaces: an independent service supporting survivors of church-related abuse

Safe Spaces is a free and independent support service, providing a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused by someone in the Church or as a result of their relationship with the Church of England, the Catholic Church in England and Wales or the Church in Wales.

The concept for the service has come from survivors of church-related abuse. Survivors have been involved in designing the service, and in selecting which organisation should run it.

'If I told you, What would you do?'

The Diocese of Newcastle have worked jointly with the Safe Spaces project to create resources which aim to engage with survivors of faith-based abuse, as well as with those who need to see, hear and respond well to them. They are willing to share these resources and we wholeheartedly recommend them to you via This Link - please share with your parishes as you wish.

Listening service

In 2011, the House of Bishops produced the ‘Responding Well’ report, which highlighted how sexual abuse can affect adult survivors. It asked each diocese to provide support and guidance, saying: 

“It is vital that our churches are safe places for people to tell their stories of abuse, and where people listen and respond well.” (Time for Action)

In response to this, our diocese has set up an Authorised Listening Service, which is now available to anyone who has been affected in this way. The listening service offers the opportunity to talk about sensitive issues with a trustworthy stranger.

A team of listeners has been recruited and authorised by Bishop John. All have experience and skills in counselling or similar and are able to provide specialist support and manage confidential information. A Listener will usually provide a series of face to face sessions, and will offer support for any next steps that are considered necessary.

The service can be requested in confidence via Parish Safeguarding Officers, clergy, or direct via the Diocesan Safeguarding team. There are leaflets available in every parish:

For further information on our Listening Service please contact Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser Hilary Higton on 07495 060869 OR Delia Stokes, Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser on 07376 374 380.

Page last updated: Monday 5th June 2023 3:20 PM
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