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Your responsibility for church property

Advice on what churches can do to reduce the risk of loss or damage to church and its contents.

The importance of maintenance

Make sure your church has a regular programme of routine maintenance throughout the year to address the issues that may result in damage in the future. Your insurance is there to protect you against the unexpected, it does not cover you for damage caused by lack of maintenance or if the church is not kept in a good state of repair.

What are the issues that can affect church property?

As trustees you are the temporary guardians of the church building and its contents and have a duty of care not just for the current generation but for future generations. To help keep your church, contents and property safe, we have summarised the key issues that can lead to damage at churches and what you can do to protect your church.

  • Storms, floods and lightning

     

    You can’t control the weather but you can lessen the likelihood of damage to your church by making sure you have a regular maintenance programme in place. It’s important to have a contingency plan in place to deal with the worst that could happen and the church can be kept open.


    Here are some things you can do:


    • Sign up to the Met Office’s severe weather warning
    • Find out if your church is at risk of flooding on the Environment Agency website or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency website
    • Make sure lightning conductors are well maintained and regularly checked by a lightning engineer.


    Find out more

  • Fire safety

     

    Fires in churches can start as the result of faulty electrical wiring, candles, heating systems or by building works or repairs. Every church should have a fire risk assessment to identify the risks and put measures in place to mitigate them.


    Find out more

  • Security

     

    Churches are particularly prone to malicious damage, vandalism, when they are empty. You can minimise the likelihood of damage to or theft from your church by introducing security measures including:


    • Fit strong locks, install intruder alarms and security lighting
    • Locking the church building when it is not in use
    • Maintain perimeter walls and railings
    • Mark valuable items with a forensic marker such as SmartWater


    Find out more

  • Slips, trips and falls

     

    Slips and trips and falls are a major cause of injuries to volunteers, church members and visitors alike. Many of these accidents can be prevented by carrying regular maintenance including:


    • Making sure that the edges of carpets, rugs and doormats are securely fixed down
    • Keeping paths clear of fallen leaves and snow and ice
    • Displaying warning signs where appropriate


    Find out more

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The Baptist Insurance Company PLC (BIC) Reg. No. 83597. Registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester, GL1 1JZ. The Baptist Insurance Company PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, Firm Reference Number 202032.