The Community of Our Lady of Walsingham (COLW)  is committed to safeguarding all children and adults – both the groups with whom we work and those adults who visit or join our community.

For COLW this commitment directly relates to the fact that we are all made in the image and likeness of God and the Church’s common belief in the preciousness, dignity and uniqueness of every human life. We start from the principle that each person has a right to expect the highest level of protection, love, encouragement and respect. Following on from the safeguarding reviews in 2020 we are committed to the One Church Approach to safeguarding by implementing the changes needed and ensuring we respond to victim/survivors promptly and compassionately.

We are signed up to the standards set by the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency. Our members receive training appropriate to their role through the Religious Life Safeguarding Service.

Concerned about a child or adult at risk?

If you are concerned that a child or adult is at immediate risk of harm, please call the police on 999.

If during the course of your contact with COLW you have a concern about a child or adult, please contact our safeguarding lead Sr Theresa Weight by email: or call her on the community telephone no 01362 421442Or contact the Religious Life Safeguarding Service (RLSS) on 0151 5562311.

It is the policy of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to report all allegations of abuse to statutory authorities, regardless of whether the abuse occurred recently or in the past, or whether the accused person is living or deceased.

If your concern is not related to the community or you are not sure who to contact, you can also seek help through the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency:

If you have been hurt in the past

‘Safe Spaces’ offers confidential and independent support for those who have experienced abuse by someone in the Church or through their relationship with the Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Church of England or the Church in Wales. You can find out more through their website:

For those discerning consecrated life

As a community we have a preferential option for the young and spiritually poor. As part of our apostolate, we give formation and accompaniment to people who are discerning their vocation – whether they are called to marriage, religious life, priesthood, or single life – whatever their vocation. We also have a great desire to see consecrated life flourish in our country and for all communities to be a place where each person feels valued and respected and can grow to the fullness of life and love. In this regard, if you are discerning a vocation to a religious community, we recommend the following videos. They look at the red flags to watch out for (specific links to them below) and will help you discern if the community you feel drawn to will be a happy and healthy place in which you will be able to flourish.

Red Flags in Religious Life

  1. Joining a Convent
  2. Training and Formation
  3. Spiritual Life, Spiritual Guidance and Confession
  4. The Vow of Poverty
  5. The Vow of Obedience
  6. The Vow of Chastity
  7. Sexual Abuse
  8. Leaving a Congregation


COLW Safeguarding Policy 2022

COLW Complaints Policy 2023


Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency:

Religious Life Safeguarding Service:

Safe Spaces: