Our Parishes rely entirely on people who volunteer their time, energy, skills and talents at the service of the Church. Volunteering enables the laity to recognise and use their gifts for the benefit of their parish community, to develop and nurture a sense of welcome to all and to foster a spirit of trust and openness that reflect the values of our ministry.

Safe Recruitment of volunteers

The Catholic Church is committed to doing everything possible to ensure children, young people and vulnerable adults are kept safe from harm. A critical responsibility is to ensure that anyone who is applying to work or minister within the Church, whether paid or otherwise, in a role which gives them direct access to children or vulnerable adults, is selected with the utmost care.

The Church is legally required to operate safe recruitment procedures and as such, for some roles, undertakes DBS checks to fulfil its obligations. This may include a barred list check depending on the nature of the role and whether it involves working unsupervised with a vulnerable group/workforce.

Typical roles that require a DBS check can be found here.

There are four stages of the safe recruitment process


An individual may express an interest in taking on a role or may be asked by the parish priest/group leader to support others in the group. A role description will be given to the individual which outlines what they would be expected to do and the personal skills/qualities required for that role. A formal discussion/interview may also take place with the parish priest/group leader or the parish safeguarding rep.


The parish safeguarding reps are trained in all stages of the safe recruitment process and will have the relevant forms/paperwork for completion by the potential volunteer.

These include:

  • Consent Form (for DBS processing)
  • New Volunteer Registration Form (requires details of two referees who the Diocese can write to in support of the volunteer’s application)
  • Self-Declaration Form (information required on any previous convictions, cautions or reprimands).
    Please note in line with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act some convictions/cautions will not necessarily bar an individual from volunteering in the Church. However, a formal risk assessment process will take place prior to confirming appointment in role.
  • Confirmation of Identity Form (three forms of ID are required for a DBS check)

Please note the Diocese operates within GDPR guidelines and in line with national policies regarding the obtaining, processing, storing and
retention of personal data and information. The Diocese will not pass on or sell data/information to any third parties.


All completed paperwork is sent to the Diocesan Safeguarding Office for checking and processing. References will be taken up and the disclosure check (if applicable) will be submitted to the DBS for completion. Please note that references may be followed up by telephone or face to face discussion if
further information is required.


Following receipt of satisfactory references and a clear DBS disclosure, the volunteer can be formally appointed to the role. The parish safeguarding rep will be informed by the safeguarding office that all safe recruitment checks have been completed. He/she will then ask the volunteer to read and sign
a Volunteer Agreement Form. This form outlines the terms of the volunteer partnership between the individual and the parish, the national policies applicable to volunteers and the training they should undertake to help them in their role.

Training for volunteers

The Church has a responsibility to ensure all those who undertake ministry with others are adequately trained in safeguarding matters.

The Church has worked with Educare to provide an e-learning package to help raise awareness of safeguarding within our communities. The e-learning package is available free of charge and consists of six different training modules. As part of the Church’s commitment to safeguarding, all our volunteers will be asked to complete the module(s) relevant to their role upon their appointment. The parish safeguarding rep will advise you what module(s) should be completed. Details of the modules and how to register can be found here. E-Learning flyer

What we expect of our volunteers

The Church appreciates the time and commitment given by our volunteers and will do the best we can to ensure your volunteer experience with us is enjoyable and rewarding. We will treat all volunteers fairly and with respect.

We expect our volunteers to perform the role to the best of your ability and to follow the Diocesan Code of Conduct.

The role of a volunteer is not a legally binding contract and can be terminated by either party at any time.

However, if you wish to stand down from your role we would ask that you speak to your designated support person/parish priest before doing so, to enable a replacement to be found if required.

What our volunteers can expect from us

A designated support person will be advised to you on commencement of your role. We recommend that any support needs or difficulties are discussed with them in the first instance.

If these are not resolved, you may wish to speak to your parish priest or Dean responsible for your parish.

If you have a safeguarding query or concern then you can discuss this with your parish safeguarding rep who will do all they can to help. If you are unable to discuss the matter with the rep then you can contact the safeguarding office on 0114 2566453.

If the concern is urgent and you feel a child or vulnerable adult is at immediate risk of harm then please call the Police or Social Services.

More information on the reporting of concerns can be found here (Volunteer parish support hierarchy flyer).

Parish Safeguarding Reps

Many of our parishes have a volunteer safeguarding rep who are appointed following a formal interview and recruitment process. The reps will have a good level of safeguarding knowledge and expertise obtained through a professional role and will have completed an induction and training before commencing their role in the parish.

Parish Safeguarding Reps are the link between parish and the diocesan safeguarding office. They have specific responsibility for promoting good and
safe practices in all activities involving children, young people and vulnerable adults within the parish or congregation. This includes facilitating the DBS
disclosure procedure and ensuring that everyone who is required to go through the process does so.

Parish Safeguarding Reps have a sound knowledge of the national policies and procedures and who to contact in the event of a safeguarding issue or concern.

They also promote Diocesan training and events by displaying information on parish noticeboards, newsletters and parish websites.

Parish Safeguarding Reps are a valuable source of support for all our volunteers.

The contact details for your rep will be displayed in the parish. If your parish does not have a safeguarding rep then the office can signpost you to a
neighbouring rep who can help.

If you are interested in becoming a safeguarding rep for your parish then please contact the safeguarding office (0114 2566453) for information on the
recruitment process.

Parish Safeguarding Representative Vacancies

Please note that we have vacancies for a Parish Safeguarding Representative in the following Parishes.  If you are interested in applying for this role, please read the attached document and make your interest known to your Parish Priest and contact the Safeguarding Office on 01142566453 or 0142566454 and speak to either Jo Pearson or Marie O’Donnelly for an application pack.

Parishes with Vacancies
St Patrick’s, Sheffield
Our Lady & Mount Carmel, Intake
St Gerrards, Thybergh
St Charles, Attercliffe 
St Josephs, Handsworth
Blessed Sacrament
Blessed English Martyrs, Askern
Sacred Heart, Balby
English Martyrs, Mexborough
St Josephs, Wath
Our Lady of Sorrows and Saint Francis, Armthorpe
St Joseph and St Nicholas, Moorends

Click here for …… The Role of the Parish safeguarding Representative

Diocesan policies applicable to volunteers

All volunteers are expected to comply with the following Diocesan policies:

Health & Safety

You should read and familiarise yourself with this policy paying particular attention to the parts that are most relevant to your role. It is important that volunteers understand their responsibilities for Health & Safety and operate within the limits of their competence at all times (Health & Safety

Cash handling

The Parish Administration Handbook sets out formal cash handling procedures for those roles that involve the collection and handling of monies raised in the Church.

Suspicion of any dishonesty will lead to the volunteering work being cancelled. Where appropriate and if the dishonesty is evidenced, a report will be made to the Police.

Data Protection

In the course of your volunteering you may have access to confidential information relating to the Diocese or a person connected with it. Such information is not to be shared with anyone not authorised to receive it either during your volunteering with us or at any time after you leave your role.

Equality & Diversity

You should adopt high standards of personal conduct and behaviour towards others and treat everyone as you would wish to be treated yourself.

Volunteers should not make remarks about others (either via email, text or social media) which could be deemed to be inappropriate, offensive or discriminatory.


The Catholic Church of England and Wales, the Bishops and Religious Congregational Leaders are committed to safeguarding as an integral part of the life and ministry of the Church and affirm a ‘One Church’ approach to protecting children, young people and adults at risk through the promotion of a sustained culture of constant vigilance.

A ‘One Church’ approach refers to use of the same policies, procedures, standards and systems in relation to safeguarding. By signing the volunteer agreement form you are confirming you have read and understood our Safeguarding Policy Statement.

More information on the national policies and procedures can be found via CSAS (Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Services)

Useful contacts:

Diocesan Safeguarding Co-ordinator – Marie O’Donnelly
0114 2566454 / 07909 117964

Diocesan Safeguarding Administrator – Jo Pearson
0114 2566453