The Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 imposes a legal duty on clergy, readers and lay workers, churchwardens and parochial church councils to have "due regard" to guidance issued by the House of Bishops on matters relating to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. This means that where guidance has been issued it should be followed unless there are "cogent reasons" for not doing so. Official guidance should be seen as having "great weight". It is understood that it will be very rare for there to be cogent reasons not to follow guidance issued by the House of Bishops. It is anticipated that failure to follow such guidance will potentially amount to "misconduct" under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003. Serious consequences are also likely to follow for lay readers, churchwardens and others who do not follow "due regard" guidance.

Further information about the legal duty of "due regard" may be sought from the Diocesan Registry.

The Diocese of Hereford Safeguarding Adviser is Carl Steventon, who can be contacted on 07593 817 717. For any non-urgent safeguarding enquiries, or in the event of Carl being unavailable, you may contact the Hereford Diocesan Office on 01432 373300.