What do you do with your empty church building? – April 2020

Now that physical meetings cannot take place in your church building, consider a few things that you need to do.  Where you are able to do so safely and within the current government guidelines, we and insurers recommend that you do the following:

  • An authorised person should inspect your building internally and externally once a week to check the security and general condition of the premises.
  • Clear all waste, perishable food, refuse and other disused combustible materials from the building and any grounds adjacent to it.
  • Securely lock all external doors and close all opening windows (locking them where fitted with locking devices).
  • To prevent burst pipes from freezing (the nights are still very cold) and heating systems leaking, drain down all tanks and pipes and, when you are able to do this, turn off all taps, stopcocks and mains supply valves.  If this is not possible, because you need to maintain a central heating system, a minimum temperature of 7°C must be maintained.
  • Switch off gas supplies unless needed to maintain a central heating system.
  • Switch off electricity supplies unless needed to maintain a central heating system or existing intruder alarm systems, fire protection systems, CCTV, security lighting or sprinkler systems. 
  • Keep in full and effective operation at all times existing physical devices for securing, or preventing access to, the buildings and remove all keys from the locks, keeping them in a secure place away from the premises.

Whilst you may not be able to complete all of the items listed above, either partially or in their entirety, you are encouraged to consider anything you can do to reduce the risk of damage or loss, particularly through escaping water from heating systems and security of the premises generally.

It may also be useful to keep the church notice board (as well as your website) up to date with details of how the church is meeting virtually for services and small meetings, as well as providing contact numbers for people to call for prayer, to connect with the church, enquire about the Gospel and ask for other help.