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Nick Alston appointed as the new Independent Chair of the Chelmsford Diocese Safeguarding Advisory Panel

16th Jun 2022

The Bishop of Chelmsford has appointed Nick Alston CBE DL as the new Independent Chair of the Chelmsford Diocese Safeguarding Advisory Panel (DSAP). The first Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex (2012 – 2016), Nick Alston was previously a senior civil servant working in Defence.  In June 2016 he was appointed as the first Chair of the Policing Institute for the Eastern Region at Anglia Ruskin University, which specialises in research into sexual offending and the management of offenders; and in December 2016, he was appointed as a non-executive Director of the UK’s National Crime Agency. He was recently appointed as the High Sherrif of Essex by Her Majesty the Queen.”  

Nick replaces Sir Roger Singleton who stood down as Independent Chair at the June meeting of the Chelmsford Diocese Safeguarding Advisory Panel.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis Dehqani has welcomed Nick Alston’s appointment saying:

“I’m delighted to appoint Nick Alston to the role of Independent Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel. He will bring a wealth of experience and wisdom from his extensive service in highly relevant leadership roles. This will be of great benefit as we work to ensure that our churches and worshipping communities are safe places for children and vulnerable adults. I look forward to working alongside him.”

Bishop Guli has also paid tribute to Sir Roger Singleton, saying:

“The Diocese of Chelmsford has benefited hugely from having someone in this role with Sir Roger’s track record of distinguished service in the field of safeguarding. He has provided invaluable direction, guidance and support to the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel, the leadership of our Diocese and to our team of safeguarding professionals.

“I know that Sir Roger had intended to step down some time ago but offered to remain in post to provide some stability during the period of vacancy between diocesan bishops, for which we are hugely grateful. I’m also grateful to Sir Roger for agreeing to support Nick during this transitionary period”

Commenting on his appointment, Nick Alston said

“It is a privilege to be offered by Bishop Guli the opportunity to serve in this role. I am committed to working alongside her and others to ensure that our churches are safe places for children and vulnerable adults. I hope that the understanding of safeguarding policy and practice that I’ve developed in other contexts over recent years will serve me and the Diocese well. I also want to pay tribute to Sir Roger Singleton for his outstanding leadership in this role and I thank him for offering to support me in the weeks ahead.” 

Sir Roger Singleton reflected on his own service as Chair of DSAP saying:

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve as chair of the Advisory Panel.   Successive bishops have placed a high priority on ensuring that churches in the Diocese are the safest possible places for children and adults, especially those who need extra care and support.  A tradition that will continue with Nick's guidance.”

About the Chelmsford Diocese Safeguarding Advisory Panel

The Chelmsford Diocese Safeguarding Advisory Panel oversees safeguarding policy and practice across Chelmsford Diocese. As well as the Independent Chair, the DSAP comprises of representatives from statutory agencies, the Bishop of Colchester who has the delegated lead role for Safeguarding in the Diocese, the Bishop of Chelmsford’s Chaplain (representing the Bishop of Chelmsford), other senior clergy, The Diocesan Chief Executive, the Diocesan Head of Safeguarding, other senior staff and an independent, lay parish representative.

About Nick Alston

The first Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex (2012 – 2016), Nick was previously a senior civil servant working in Defence. In June 2016 he was appointed as the first Chair of the Policing Institute for the Eastern Region at Anglia Ruskin University, which specialises in research into sexual offending and the management of offenders; and in December 2016, he was appointed as a non-executive Director of the UK’s National Crime Agency. In November 2017 Nick was appointed as interim chair of the Mid Essex Hospital Services (NHS) Trust having served on the Board there for six years. He has chaired the Board of Essex Community Foundation since 2018, and he was recently appointed High Sheriff of Essex by Her Majesty the Queen.  Nick worships at Chelmsford Cathedral where he has held various lay roles.