Church workers in Birmingham were given training on how to keep children in their parish safe from harm.
Up to 150 people attended the child protection seminar run by Christian charity the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service, on Saturday.
The course, called Facing the Unthinkable, was designed for all who work with children including youth workers, Sunday school helpers and church leaders.
It looked at the different forms of abuse and how to recognise the signs.
Guidance was given on how churches should respond.
Delegates were advised on preventative measures including how to develop a safe environment and guidelines for preparing child protection policies.
They received information on the role of social services and the police.
The subject of recruiting safely was discussed.
Government documents including Safe from Harm and Working Together Under the Children Act 2010, were also referred to.
The day was presented by David Pearson, director of the service, and Pauline Pearson, a counsellor who works with children and adults who have experienced abuse.
Mr Pearson, who also founded the charity in 1977, said: “It is high time we cut through the arm’s length approach which undermines workers and, in my view, makes them less able to protect children from the real dangers they face.
“The seminars are about teaching good sense measures to help ensure that churches and organisations are safe places for children and workers are equipped to respond appropriately and effectively to children who may have experienced harm, whether at home or elsewhere.
“Every church in Birmingham must have a child protection policy in place which does not then simply gather dust, but is put into practice and used consistently by all its workers and volunteers.
“This is to help make our churches safe for all who come through its doors.”