Westminster Abbey is committed to ensuring that children, young people and adults at risk who come to visit us may worship, learn, and grow in Christ safely.

The Quire of the Abbey - wooden stalls opposite each other with a chess-style floor.

Westminster Abbey takes safeguarding very seriously. We are committed to protecting the welfare of children and of all adults who are vulnerable – whether that be our worshippers, visitors, clergy, staff or volunteers.

Westminster Abbey Safeguarding Lead is The Very Reverend David Hoyle MBE, Dean of Westminster.

Safeguarding policy

The care and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in church activities is the responsibility of the whole church. The following safeguarding policy and its appendices outline how we will work to ensure this care and protection, and to promote a safer environment and working culture.

The policy includes sections on:

  • Foreword by the Dean of Westminster
  • Introduction and Scope of Policy
  • Safeguarding procedures and practices
  • Code of safer working practice
  • Safer recruitment
  • Safeguarding roles and responsibilities
  • Who to contact if you have a concern
  • Confidentiality and information sharing
  • Responding to concerns and disclosures
  • Whistleblowing and managing allegations against staff
  • Spiritual Abuse
  • General Guidance on Safeguarding

Westminster Abbey Safeguarding Policy 2023 (PDF, 444KB)

Safeguarding Reference Group

The Safeguarding Reference Group (SRG) works to ensure the highest standards of safeguarding are being met at Westminster Abbey. It reports directly to Chapter

SRG reports

The following annual reports are prepared by the independent chair of the SRG.

How to report a safeguarding concern

There are lots of ways to report a safeguarding concern, and the information you pass to us when reporting is kept private. However, if we need to do so to keep a child or vulnerable adult safe, we may share relevant information with statutory agencies, the Diocese of London, or other churches. Westminster Abbey electronically stores safeguarding reports in a secure database in line with data protection legislation.

In person

If you are in the Abbey or on its grounds and you or someone you know is at risk of abuse, harm, neglect or exploitation, please find a member of Westminster Abbey Staff. The Stewards are dressed in red copes (gowns) and the Security Staff (Beadles) are in uniform. Similarly, if you witness an event you find worrying whilst in the Abbey, please make a member of our staff aware as soon as possible.

By email

If you are not in the Abbey, or if you would prefer to communicate your concerns in writing, please:

By phone

During working hours, phone:

Please state that say that you would like to speak to someone about a safeguarding concern, or that you or someone else needs help. If they are not immediately available, someone will call you back.

Outside of working hours, the Christian safeguarding charity, 31:8, runs a free 24 hours a day helpline. You can contact them on

As with any emergency, call 999 if someone is at immediate risk.

Further support

If you would like further support, there are a wealth of different organisations who can provide advice and guidance, beyond the Abbey. These include: