Summer event planning guide

Organised events, such as a summer fête or concerts are a great way to celebrate the work of the church, to serve the community and bring new people into the church family. If you are considering holding an event this summer, take a moment to read our short guide to planning church events and activities.

Depending on the nature of the event, it is important to:

Plan it well – Consider any health and safety precautions you will need to take. The level of detail of this should be proportionate to the scale of the event and the degree of risk associated with it. Most events will pose no problems, but you need to be aware of your obligations under, for example, health and safety regulations.

Manage it, so that it runs safely – This means ensure adequate co-ordination of the activities and monitor the precautions you have put in place. It is advisable to document your arrangements for managing safety so that everyone is aware of your plans. If you have a health and safety policy, record these as part of it.

Plan for all weather eventualities – Since weather forecasts are not always accurate, you will need to decide how to proceed if the weather is not favourable. Do you have an indoor space you can use if needed? Consider who will monitor the forecast and make the call to move everyone inside. Consider offering shade from the sun and access to cold water.

Plan for incidents and emergencies – This will help you ensure you can respond promptly in an appropriate manner. Again, this will be dependent on the level of risk presented by the event. You may benefit from completing risk assessments or preparing an event safety plan.

Check your insurance cover is adequate – Churches regularly run fêtes and coffee mornings, and most policies will usually provide adequate cover for these. However, occasionally churches run unusual or hazardous activities such as fireworks displays or using bouncy castles.  If you are planning any events like these, let your insurer know as soon as you know the event will be happening.

Safeguarding – It is essential to have a safeguarding policy in place, which is up to date with the names of the key people responsible for coordinating safeguarding concerns and issues. It is also important to ensure all workers in the church have been trained on safeguarding matters and that staff and volunteers have been subject to appropriate DBS checks. To support churches we work alongside with safeguarding CGT has recently asked Christian Safeguarding Services (CSS) to review and update their briefing paper “Church and your safeguarding arrangements”. It can be viewed or downloaded here.

Food safety – Providing tea and cakes at events is a common activity in the life of a church. Although you will have fewer responsibilities if you only handle, prepare, store, or serve food occasionally and on a small scale, all food supplied, sold or provided at charity or community events must comply with Food Hygiene Regulations and be safe to eat.  Church Growth Trust has recently updated its briefing paper on this subject – click here to download it.

Need more information?

Further guidance and resources are also available from: