Our History

Tim Parkman Sept 2021

The religious life of Saltash goes back in history too far for us to explore except to note that it would have been centred from about the 11th century at St. Nicholas with St. Stephens added about the 13th century.

The I8th Century produced some men of outstanding courage and ability, who have left their mark on the history of England. Among these are Wilberforce, Wilkes, Wesley, Raikes and Carey. It is not surprising therefore, that the conscience of the people was aroused, for although smuggling and law-breaking was rife there was a distinct movement towards the improvement of moral standards. So although the first Baptist fellowship seems to have been founded in the reign of Elizabeth 1, it was not until about 1750 that the first Baptist dissenters crossed the River Tamar to bring non-conformity to Saltash. The followers of John Wesley soon followed and by 1792 they also were holding open-air meetings.

The way of dissenters was not easy for they met with much opposition. In 1790 a group of Baptist evangelists, arriving by boat in Saltash, were stoned by locals, but they were determined people. They would have begun by meeting in the homes of sympathisers, or any available building. By 1791, their efforts were rewarded, when Rev. Isaiah Birt and Rev. Philip Gibbs of Plymouth Dock acquired a plot of land in Silver St. Thus with non-conformity established in the Town in the name of the Baptist community of Protestant Dissenters, the first chapel was built. It is commemorated on a stone erected by Isaiah Birt’s son and also by the graves of his wife and family. These may be seen on the South wall of the present churchyard. In 1797 the Minister of the Baptist Tabernacle in Plymouth, the Rev. Isaac Taylor, took on the additional task of being our first Pastor. Non-conformism was spreading and in l807 the first Wesley Chapel opened. At this time the Vicar of St. Stephens, Rev. John Dawson, was claiming that Saltash ‘abounded with dissenters’!

By the 1860’s the first church was in a state of decay and had to be demolished. In 1865 it was replaced on the present site with a new building shown above on the left. This housed the town’s Baptist Fellowship for over a hundred years. The architect was Mr. J. Ambrose of Plymouth with Mr. Shaddock as the Saltash contractor. The foundation stone, laid by Mr. Jeffery of Liverpool in April 1865 can be seen in the wall of the current church close to the entrance.

Many other interesting gravestones are to be found in the graveyard. These include a man whose death is commemorated on three separate stones one wonders which wife had him in the end? The present Church held it’s first service on Christmas Day 1991 and was dedicated and opened in March 1992 following the destruction of the second church by fire on Christmas Day 1987, following a break-in. The intruder probably started it while trying to keep warm! The dramatic photograph above showing the ferocity of the fire, was taken by a local teenager using a camera given him as a Christmas present that very morning! 

Safeguarding Policy Statement

Our Vision

The vision statement of Saltash Baptist Church is “to evangelise our community and beyond, to encourage people to become more Christ-like through discipleship and we are committed to meeting the needs of those inside and outside our walls through ministry. We value fellowship and will come before the Lord in obedience to worship Him.”

  • In fulfilling this purpose the church 
  • Welcome children and adults at risk into the life of our community
  • Run activities for children and adults at risk
  • Make our premises available to organisations working with children and adults at risk

Our safeguarding responsibilities

The church recognises its responsibilities in safeguarding all children, young people and adults at risk, regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability.

As members of this church we commit ourselves to the nurturing, protection and safekeeping of all associated with the church and will pray for them regularly. In pursuit of this, we commit ourselves to this policy and to the development of sound procedures to ensure we implement our policy well.

1. Prevention and reporting of abuse

It is the duty of each church member to help prevent the abuse of children and adults at risk, and the duty of each church member to respond to concerns about the well-being of children and adults at risk. Any abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected will be reported in accordance with our procedures. The church will fully co-operate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the church.

2. Safe recruitment, support and supervision of workers

The church will exercise proper care in the selection and appointment of those working with children and adults at risk, whether paid or voluntary. All workers will be provided with appropriate training, support and supervision to promote the safekeeping of children and adults at risk.

3. Respecting children and young people

The church will adopt a code of behaviour for all who are appointed to work with children and young people so that all children and young people are shown the respect that is due to them.

4. Safe working practices

The church is committed to providing an environment that is as safe as possible for children and adults at risk and will adopt ways of working with them that promote their safety and well-being.

5. A safer community

The church is committed to the prevention of bullying. The church will seek to ensure that the behaviour of any individuals who may pose a risk to children, young people and adults at risk in the community of the church is managed appropriately.

Safeguarding contact points within our church

The church has appointed the following individuals to form part of the church safeguarding team:

Jeff Howden, Designated Person for Safeguarding (DPS)

Jeff will advise the church on any matters related to the safeguarding of children and adults at risk and take the appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected. 

Email address: safeguarding@saltashbaptist.co.uk 

Amy O’Meakin, Deputy Designated Person for Safeguarding (DDPS)

Amy will assist the Designated Person for Safeguarding (DPS) in helping the church on any matters related to the safeguarding of children and adults at risk and take the appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected. 

Email address: youth@saltashbaptist.co.uk 

Rebecca Bright, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Verifier and Safeguarding administrator

She will assist the Designated Person for Safeguarding (DPS) with the DBS verification and the general safeguarding administration.  

Email address: safeguarding@saltashbaptist.co.uk 

Michelle Heighway, Safeguarding Trustee

She will raise the profile of safeguarding within the church and oversee and monitor the implementation of the safeguarding policy and procedures on behalf of the church trustees. 

Email address: heighway.michelle@gmail.com  

Our church minister is also an important part of the Church Safeguarding Team. Where possible, the Church Safeguarding Team will work together if and when issues arise. However, each person has a responsibility to report allegations of abuse as soon as they are raised.

Further definitions of these roles can be found in the BUGB publications ‘Safe to Grow’ (2011) & ‘Safe to Belong’ (2015).

Putting our policy into practice

  • A copy of the safeguarding policy statement will be displayed permanently on the church noticeboard and church office and is available here on our church website.
  • Each worker with children and/or adults at risk will be given a full copy of the safeguarding policy and procedures and will be asked to sign to confirm that they will follow them. 
  • Each worker with children and/or adults at risk will be given a full copy of the safeguarding policy and procedures and will be asked to sign to confirm that they will follow them. 
  • A full copy of the policy and procedures will be made available on request to any member of, or other person associated with the church. 
  • A copy of the safeguarding policy statement will be displayed permanently on the church noticeboard and church office and is available here on our church website.
  • Each worker with children and/or adults at risk will be given a full copy of the safeguarding policy and procedures and will be asked to sign to confirm that they will follow them. 
  • Each worker with children and/or adults at risk will be given a full copy of the safeguarding policy and procedures and will be asked to sign to confirm that they will follow them. 
  • A full copy of the policy and procedures will be made available on request to any member of, or other person associated with the church. 
  • The policy and procedures will be monitored and reviewed annually, and any necessary revisions adopted into the policy and implemented through our procedures. 
  • The policy statement will be read annually at the church AGM, together with a report on the outcome of the annual safeguarding review

Click here to download a copy of our Safeguarding policy and procedures document

Data Protection Policy

Under Data Protection legislation the church Charity Trustees of Saltash Baptist Church are the Data Controllers and the Church Secretary acts as our Data Protection Officer. We are collecting this information to enable the church to keep in touch with you and provide pastoral support as appropriate.

Data Protection legislation allows us to process this information as we regard it as being in the church’s legitimate interest. Your name and contact details will be entered into our church database which is held on the church office computer and cloud system which is password protected and accessed only by the Ministers, Church Secretary and Church Administrator. Your contact details will be removed from the database once you are no longer a member of the church – unless you ask to remain as one of our “church friends”. We would like to include your name and contact details in our Church Directory which will be accessible through ChurchSuite . If you are happy for your details to be included please indicate where asked to do so. You can ask for your details to be removed at any time.

To enable us to provide adequate pastoral support to you and your family, one of the Ministers may record information which may be regarded as sensitive. This information will be stored (in password protected documents) on the church computer and Cloud System but the password will only be known by the Ministers. This information will NOT be disclosed to anyone else without your consent. You have the right to ask to see any information we hold about you (including the pastoral support information) by submitting a ‘Subject Access Request’ to the Church Secretary. You also have the right to ask for information which you believe to be incorrect to be rectified. If you are concerned about the way your information is being handled please speak to our Data Protection Officer. If you are still unhappy you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office.

LAST REVIEW DATE 2019