Organising church events

11 September 2019

All entertainment events are subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act. These are the key points to consider when planning and hosting church events and activities.

Colourful bunting with a blue sky in the background.

Your level of involvement

There are three ways your Methodist church might be involved with an event: 

1. A beneficiary

If a member of your church holds a coffee morning in their home for the benefit of the church, in this scenario, the church is the beneficiary.

In this scenario the church has the lowest level of involvement in the event and no control over its organisation and merely benefits from the proceeds. However, the individual responsible for holding the event, will need to check with their household insurers to make sure their insurance is still valid.
Most insurers are likely to accept such an activity if they are notified of it.

2. A facilitator

If the church arranges an event, for example a large fireworks display, it is likely they will use the services of a specialist independent provider to manage all or part of the event. In this scenario, the church is taking on the role of a facilitator. 

We would expect the church to use a competent and professional service provider in these circumstances. Regardless of who you choose to support your event, you should check that they have adequate public liability insurance in place.

3. An organiser

As an organiser, the church has total responsibility for the event including all activities. This is likely to be the case where the activities are of a non-hazardous nature and normally in a church setting. It may be a fête or coffee morning, and it is likely that no specialist skills are required.

Church insurance cover for events

If you are unsure about the cover that applies to your event, you can call the team to discuss your concerns.

Day-to-day events

We expect many churches to run fêtes and coffee mornings. As we expect churches to hold these kind of events on a regular basis, our policy will provide cover as standard.

Out-of-the-ordinary church events

When your church holds more hazardous activities such as fireworks displays or abseiling, please let us know during the planning stages. 

Please contact us if you are planning such an event and, most importantly, if you are thinking of organising it without the use of a specialist provider. 
We would not normally charge an additional premium for such events however, confirmation is required that these events are being organised under the full control of a competent specialist provider that has public liability in force.
Events away from the church premises

Where church events are held away from your church premises, public liability and employers’ liability cover will apply across the UK.

There is also cover under your church insurance policy for portable items taken away from your premises. You should check your policy for the limits applicable and any policy exclusions that might apply.
Health and safety risk assessments

The first step in planning any event is completing a risk assessment, even if you are planning a small event like a coffee morning. It does not have to be complex and is often common sense. This will help your church to manage health and safety risks which have the potential to ruin an event. 

You can use our risk assessment template to help you. Make sure you store any completed risk assessments securely as they can be used as evidence that you have met your duty of care. 
More information can be found in our planning church events section.
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