External view from southeast St Mary the Virgin Wissington parish
St Mary Polstead 1st page-2
St James Nayland 1st page-2
St Mary Stoke-by-Nayland 1st page-2
St Matthew Leavenheath 1st page-2


Welcome to our website

We are the Benefice of Stoke-by-Nayland with Leavenheath and Polstead and Nayland with Wissington.

The Benefice is a community of 5 villages in the South of the County of Suffolk. It is part of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich within the Church of England. It is a typical rural Benefice of the English countryside. We are situated in Dedham Vale AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

Following the example of a Christ with open arms, we make our best to make visitors feel welcome and safe in our churches whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, opinion, denomination, abilities, disabilities or sexual orientation.

Please read our Safeguarding Statement below.

Safeguarding Statement

The Benefice of Stoke-by-Nayland with Leavenheath and Polstead, and Nayland with Wissington is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own Benefice Safeguarding Officer (BSO).The Diocese of St.Edmundsbury & Ipswich’s safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) who advise our BSO. If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact the DSA. If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority Children or Adults Services.

Promoting a safer church
The care and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in church activities is the responsibility of the whole church.
Everyone who participates in the life of the church has a role to play in promoting a Safer Church for all.

IF YOU ARE CONCERNED that someone you know is at risk of, or is being abused, or presents a risk to others, please seek advice from a Safeguarding Adviser or if necessary report the matter to the Local Authority Social Care Services or the Police without delay.

Local contacts available to speak to if you have any concerns:

Name: Mrs Jane Addis
Role: Benefice Safeguarding Officer
Tel: 01787 210834

Name: Karen Galloway
Role: Safeguarding Manager
Tel: 07785 621319

Local Authority Social Services:
Suffolk County Council – 0808 800 4005


All the PCC’s within our benefice have adopted the diocesan and national policies to support our commitment to making our churches safer, copies of which are displayed in each church and are available to view here: safeguarding-documents.

We recognise that Safeguarding is an integral part of the mission and ministry of the church in this diocese and is in line with our Growing in God strategy.

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
It is our policy to:
– Promote a safer environment and culture
– Safely recruit and support all those with any responsibility relating those groups who are at increased risk of harm or abuse within the church
– Respond promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation
– Care pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons
– Care pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons
– Respond to those who may pose a present risk to others

We will work with the Diocese in order to fulfil the above policy, and will make use of the diocesan facilities to complete online DBS applications and to provide appropriate levels of safeguarding training in order to raise awareness and create an atmosphere of ‘informed vigilance’.

We will work with the diocese, who in turn work collaboratively with Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board, Suffolk Safeguarding Adults Board and Suffolk Police Public Protection.

If a child or adult is at risk of immediate harm call 999 now.