August is often the month when life is a little quieter for many churches; various groups and gatherings take a break, and many are away on holiday. This season in the church calendar will hopefully allow space to catch up with other areas of church life and may provide an ideal opportunity to review expiry dates for annual gas safety certification, five-yearly electrical fixed wire testing, annual Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) and annual fire equipment safety testing to ensure all your compliance certification is up to date and that the equipment is safe to use.
The following websites may be of use to source qualified engineers in your area:
NICEIC (electrical safety)
August may also be a good month to review your church’s or organisation’s policy documents such as your safeguarding, finance, data protection, employment and media policies to ensure that these are up to date and match the current needs of your church or organisation. It is recommended that safeguarding policies are reviewed at least annually; for further information please visit Christian Safeguarding Services: thecss.co.uk. Your trustees may also wish to view your policies, especially your safeguarding policy, to ensure they match your church or organisation’s requirements.
Your fire risk assessment and health and safety risk assessment should also be reviewed and updated annually and Church Growth Trust have a briefing paper and checklist on our website: Fire Risk Assessments Resources and Ecclesiastical have a number of helpful documents to assist with producing a risk assessment: Risk Assessment resources.
Many churches offer food at their meetings and events and it is advisable to ensure you comply with The Food Hygiene Regulations as these apply whether or not a charge is made for refreshments. To find out more about these regulations, please visit Church Growth Trust’s briefing paper: Food Safety and Churches.
It is essential that your church or organisation are complying with copyright law when producing the words for worship songs, hymns and choruses and performing or streaming online and singing these during services and other events. For further information please visit the CCLI website where there is a page which assesses which types of licences your church requires in order to be compliant with copyright law: CCLI copyright licences.
Finally, if there are paid employees at your church building or organisation, you must have a First Aid Kit on site; this should be checked regularly to ensure that all the contents are in date and have not passed their expiry date. It might also be helpful to find out if a member of your church is first aid trained and their certificate is still in date (they will need to have attended a one day First Aid Requalification course within the last three years) or consider being trained yourself or sending a member of your team to be trained. St John’s Ambulance and Red Cross provide a one-day Emergency First Aid at Work course which covers basic life saving first aid skills and knowledge of workplace health and safety regulations.