The Theology of Safeguarding and Spiritual Abuse

 The 2021 Methodist Conference adopted the report on The Theology of Safeguarding which explores issues including the abuse of power within a church context: See Conference 2021 Agenda Volume 2  

'God Welcomes All: How faith informs safeguarding' (Study Guide)

God Welcomes All is a four-session study guide containing new short films with activities and questions for discussion and reflection.  The study guide is based on the Methodist Church’s report on the Theology of Safeguarding 2021 and is accompanied by an 8-page facilitator's guide, a 6-page reader's guide, and a series of short films (see links below).  

The new study guide encourages all members of the Methodist Church to look at our Christian calling that offers a welcome to all, whilst ensuring that our worship and wider church life is safe for everyone.

  • User-friendly study materials
  • Accessible series of short films
  • Versatile for use by individuals or groups

Study Guide  

Study Guide (Easy Read version)

Order the study guide from Methodist PublishingGod Welcomes All: How faith informs safeguarding 

Download Facilitator's Guide

Download Reader's Guide


 There is a series of films on YouTube: God Welcomes All Playlist

1) God Welcomes All - Session 1:  All are welcome

2) God Welcomes All - Session 2:  Language, Listening and Hearing

3) God Welcomes All - Session 3:  Power

4) God Welcomes All - Session 4:  The Impact of Abuse


The transcripts from the films are below.

1) God Welcomes All - Session 1: 'All Are Welcome' transcript

2) God Welcomes All - Session 2: 'Language, Listening and Hearing' transcript

3) God Welcomes All - Session 3: 'Power' transcript

4) God Welcomes All - Session 4: 'The Impact of Abuse' transcript


Publicity materials

There is also an e-flyer and a short film about using the guide (all available to download below) that can be used to promote the study guide.

Download the e-flyer:  Theology of Safeguarding Study Guide e-flyer

Watch a short film where our pilot group discuss what the 'God Welcomes All' study guide is all about:  Film  

Theology of Safeguarding Podcast

Listen to a discussion about the report from July 2021:

 The Methodist Podcast Episode 62 - Theology of Safeguarding


Spiritual Abuse

Visit the Spiritual Abuse webpage to learn more about what spiritual abuse is and about training resources being developed to increase understanding around it.  You will also find details of a book on the subject and contact details for an independent charity which supports those who have experienced abuse and trauma within faith. 

Spiritual Abuse

The Methodist Church is strongly committed to supporting survivors of abuse of any kind and especially abuse that occurred within a church context. The Survivors’ Advisory group has worked to help the church reflect on what needs to change in its culture in order to make it a truly safe space. For more details see Survivor Resources

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