Church events – your responsibilities

30 September 2019

Whatever your church event - fetes, concerts, garden parties, you have a duty of care for employees, volunteers and those attending.

Event zebra

Depending on the level of involvement your church has with an event, there may be different responsibilities that fall to you as the organiser. 

As the event organisers the church needs to be aware that all entertainment events are subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 

How involved is your church?

There are three levels of involvement that we commonly see churches take on when involved in events:

If the church is running the event

If the church is organising the event, including all the activities that take place and there are no specialist skills or knowledge required the event will be fairly straight forward. 

Though such events are unlikely to be dangerous, a risk assessment should always be carried out to identify potential hazards and ways they can be managed.  
You can find more information in our event guidance notes.

If the church is a beneficiary

If your church is a beneficiary of an event but is not involved in the event’s organisation, you will have less responsibility. 

An example could be a local business holding a cake sale with the proceeds being donated to the church. In this case, the business would need to ensure their public liability insurance covers the event. 
The business hosting the event should contact their household insurer to check they have public liability cover as part of their policy – to make sure they are covered should anyone attending suffer an injury.

If the church is a facilitator

If using the services of an independent provider to manage all aspects of the event, the church would be deemed the facilitator. The most common instance where this would be the case is a hazardous event such as a large fireworks display.

In this case, the church should check that the specialist provider has adequate public liability in place.

Planning your church event

Planning your event with care and due diligence can ensure the health and safety of all involved. We have produced guides to planning and publicising your event, alongside a template risk assessment, to help you identify and address any health and safety or security concerns. 

Document icon Risk man in hat