Sandbach Methodist Church

Over the last few years, we have agreed upon a mission statement, a vision statement, a safeguarding policy, a church policy, a Wesley Centre mission statement, a policy for our property, a health and safety policy, a risk assessment and a donations and fundraising policy.

Our Mission (Why we are here):

Our calling, as Sandbach Methodist Church, is to respond to the good news of God’s love in Christ, and through the power of the Holy Spirit to prayerfully live this out in worship and mission. In fellowship with other Christians, we are called:

Our Vision (What we are aiming to be):

We have a vision of a church as a body, as a network, alive with opportunity for growing in discipleship and mission.


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Statement of Safeguarding Principles

Every person has a value and dignity which comes directly from the creation of male and female in God’s own image and likeness. Christians see this potential as fulfilled by God’s re-creation of us in Christ. Among other things this implies a duty to value all people as bearing the image of God and therefore to protect them from harm.


We are committed to:

  • the care and nurture of, and respectful pastoral ministry with, all children, young people and adults
  • the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults when they are vulnerable
  • the establishing of safe, caring communities which provide a loving environment where there is informed vigilance as to the dangers of abuse.

We will carefully select and train all those with any responsibility within the Church, in line with Safer Recruitment principles, including the use of criminal records disclosures and registration with1 the relevant vetting and barring schemes.

We will respond without delay to every complaint made which suggests that an adult, child or young person may have been harmed, cooperating with the police and local authority in any investigation.

We will seek to work with anyone who has suffered abuse, developing with them an appropriate ministry of informed pastoral care.

We will seek to challenge any abuse of power, especially by anyone in a position of trust.

We will seek to offer pastoral care and support, including supervision and referral to the proper authorities, to any member of our church community known to have offended against a child, young person or vulnerable adult.

In all these principles we will follow legislation, guidance and recognised good practice.

This policy was agreed at a Church Councilnheld on 19th January 2016.

The Methodist Church, along with the whole Christian community, believes each person has a value and dignity which comes directly from God’s creation of male and female in God’s own image and likeness. Christians see this as fulfilled by God’s re-creation of us in Christ. Among other things, this implies a duty to value all people as bearing the image of God and therefore to protect them from harm.

Sandbach Methodist Church is committed to the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and vulnerable adults and affirms that the needs of children or of people when they are vulnerable are paramount.

Sandbach Methodist Church recognises that none of us is invulnerable but that there is a particular care for those whose vulnerability is increased by situations, by disabilities or by reduction in capacities. It is recognised that this increased vulnerability may be temporary or permanent and may be visible or invisible, but that it does not diminish our humanity and seeks to affirm the gifts and graces of all God’s people.

This policy addresses the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. It is intended to be a dynamic policy. It is intended to support the Church in being a safe supportive and caring community for children, young people, vulnerable adults, for survivors of abuse, for communities and for those affected by abuse.

Sandbach Methodist Church fully agrees with the Connexional statement reiterated in Creating Safer Space 2007:

As the people of the Methodist Church we are concerned with the wholeness of each individual within God’s purpose for everyone. We seek to safeguard all members of the church community of all ages.

Sandbach Methodist Church recognises the serious issue of the abuse of children and vulnerable adults and recognises that this may take the form of physical, emotional, sexual, financial, spiritual or institutional abuse or neglect. It acknowledges the effects these may have on people and their development including spiritual and religious development. It accepts its responsibility for ensuring that all people are safe in its care and that their dignity and right to be heard is maintained. It accepts its responsibility to support, listen to and work for healing with survivors, offenders, communities and those who care about them. It takes seriously the issues of promotion of welfare so that each of us can reach our full potential in God’s grace.

Sandbach Methodist Church commits itself to respond without delay to any allegation or cause for concern that a child or vulnerable adult may have been harmed, whether in the church or in another context. It commits itself to challenge the abuse of power of anyone in a position of trust.

Sandbach Methodist Church commits itself to ensuring the implementation of Connexional Safeguarding Policy; government legislation and guidance and safe practice in the circuit and in the churches.

Sandbach Methodist Church commits itself to the provision of support, advice and training for lay and ordained people that will ensure people are clear and confident about their roles and responsibilities in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults who may be vulnerable.

Sandbach Methodist Church affirms and gives thanks for the work of those who are workers with children and vulnerable adults and acknowledges the shared responsibility of all of us for safeguarding vulnerable adults who are on our premises.

Sandbach Methodist Church appoints Rebecca Douglas as Church Safeguarding Adults Representative and Rebecca Douglas as Church Safeguarding Children Coordinator and supports her in her/their role which is to:

  1. support and advise the minister and the stewards in fulfilling their roles
  2. provide a point of reference to advise on safeguarding issues
  3. liaise with Circuit and District Safeguarding Coordinators
  4. promote safeguarding best practice within the local church with the support of circuit ministers.
  1. Purpose
    The purposes of this safeguarding policy are to ensure procedures are in place and people are clear about roles and responsibilities for vulnerable adults in our care and using our premises. It is to be read in conjunction with the Methodist Safeguarding Handbook (2010).

  2. Good Practice
    We believe good practice means that:
    1. All people are treated with respect and dignity.
    2. Those who act on behalf of the Church should not meet or work alone with a child or vulnerable adult where the activity cannot be seen unless this is necessary for pastoral reasons, in which case a written note of this will be made and kept noting date, time and place of visit.
    3. The church premises will be assessed for safety for children and vulnerable adults and the risk assessment report will be given annually to the Church Council in written form. This will include fire safety procedures. The Church Council will consider the extent to which the premises and equipment are suitable or should be made more suitable.
    4. Any church-organised transport of children or vulnerable adults will be checked to ensure the vehicle is suitable and insured and that the driver and escort are appropriate.
    5. Promotion of safeguarding is recognised to include undertaking those tasks which enable all God’s people to reach their full potential. The Church Council will actively consider the extent to which it is succeeding in this area.
    These things are to safeguard those working with children, young people and those adults who may be vulnerable.

  3. Appointment and training of workers
    Workers will be appointed after a satisfactory CRB disclosure. Each worker will be expected to undergo basic safeguarding training, within the first year of appointment. The other training needs of each worker will be considered (e.g. food hygiene, first aid, lifting and handling, etc.) and each worker will have an annual review conducted by a named member of the Church Council and another worker within the organisation.

  4. Pastoral visitors
    In terms of safeguarding, Pastoral Visitors will be supported in their role with the provision of basic safeguarding training upon appointment.

  5. Guidelines for working with children, young people and vulnerable adults
    A leaflet will be produced and reviewed annually to be given to each worker with vulnerable adults outlining good practice and systems. The leaflet will be reviewed annually with this policy [Church Councils may produce their own material or use appropriate Connexional leaflets].2

  6. Ecumenical events
    Where ecumenical events happen on church premises, safeguarding is the responsibility of this Church Council.

  7. Events with church groups off the premises
    Adequate staffing will be ensured for such events. Notification of the event will be given to the Minister

  8. Other groups on church premises
    Where the building is hired for outside use, the person signing the letting agreement [which should include Safeguarding Form E],3 will be given a copy of this policy and the leaflet. The lettings secretary will consider the various users of the building in making lettings4

  9. Complaints procedure
    It is hoped that complaints can generally be dealt with internally by the organisations. However, a complaint may be made to a person who will be appointed by the Church Council and who is currently Rebecca Douglas or the Minister, who will arrange to meet with the complainant and attempt to resolve the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved, consideration will be given to invoking the complaints system of the Methodist Church which will involve initially speaking with the Local Complaints Officer who is Martyn Ripley (District Safeguarding Officer)

  10. Review
    This policy will be reviewed annually by the Church Council. The date of the next review is January 2017

  11. Key concepts and definitions
    1. Vulnerable Adults: any adult aged 18 or over who, by reason of mental or other disability, age, illness or other situation is permanently or for the time being unable to take care of her or himself, or to protect her or himself from significant harm or exploitation.
    2. Safeguarding and protecting children or vulnerable adults from maltreatment; preventing impairment of their health and ensuring safe and effective care.
    3. Adult/child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity which is undertaken to protect children/specific adults who are suffering or are at risk of suffering significant harm, including neglect.
    4. Abuse and neglect may occur in a family, in a community and in an institution. It may be perpetrated by a person or persons known to the child or vulnerable adult or by strangers; by an adult or by a child. It may be an infliction of harm or a failure to prevent harm.

Dated January 19th 2016

Signed .................................................. Chair of Church Council

1Or membership of (PVG scheme Scotland).
2These have yet to be produced for vulnerable adults.
3To be found in Recruiting Safely in the Methodist Church 2010.
4Such as the code of practice or the pocket guide.

Our Policy:

We consider our core objectives to be To attain these objectives we will Our plans will therefore include
To deepen our spiritual life, as a church and as individuals.
  • Aim to make our worship have meaning and life for those who alredy come, and to draw in those who do not yet belong.
  • Be aware of the need for a variey of styles of worship, including the traditional and the innovative.
  • Encourage as many of our folk as possible to be members of Bible-study, discussion and fellowship groups.
  • Encourage the use of daily Bible reading notes.
  • Provide adult education in the Christian faith.
Continuing the ‘Together’ services to bring the whole church family together in worship.
Continuing with ‘Alpha’ courses, both as an individual church and with other churches.
Seek to revive Bible-study groups and set up post-‘Alpha’ fellowship groups.
Establish cell groups.
Recruiting and, where necessary, training leader for these groups.
To create oppportunities to get to know one another better.
  • Encourage our people to join groups such as the Wesley Guild, Women’s Friendship Circle and the Bowls Group.
  • Encourage participation in social events organised by both church and Circuit.
Encouraging these organisations to provide a varied programme of speakers and activities.
To provide for young people a junior Church which is healthy, vibrant and valued by the whole church.
  • Build stronger links with Parents and Toddlers, Playgroup, Holiday Club and Wayfarers, and encourage progress through these groups.
  • Recruit and train suitable leaders.
  • Provide necessary resources for the work.
Recruitment of a rota of adults to supervise play with a Christian content.
Recruitmant and training for suitable Junior Church teachers and leaders.
The integration of our church life with the mid-week actiities flowing from and into our Sunday worship.
  • Publicise all regular and ‘special’ church activities both within the church and beyond.
Utilise our Publicity Officer and continue to improve our publicity.
The church should base its teaching/preaching on the Wesley Centre Mission Statement with its clear emphasis on integration. The Wesley Centre Project will rightly be our major focus as a church over the next few years, but it is important that it is not seen as an end in itself, but rather as a means to an end, that end being Mission and Service.
More focus on prayer as church, and more use of both the existing Intercessions Book, and the new Schoolroom Prayer book.
Need to enable increased participation in Wesley Centre Project of groups using our buildings (e.g. Playgroup, Youth Club, etc.).
Explore possibility of church groups (e.g. Guild, Friendship Circle, etc.) taking responsibility for a Sunday service, and community groups (e.g. Rotary, Probus, etc.) contributing to a Sunday service.
To identify and release the resources available to us as a Stewardship church.
  • Maintain and improve the facilities in our premises.
  • Seek out and fully utilise the talents of our folk.
Continue regular Stewardship Renewal Campaigns.
Consultation with, and seeking agreement of the Church Family to the proposed Property Policy.
Major maintenance work on the Chapel.
To widen our outreach through witness, care and involvement in the community.
  • Wherever possible work and witness with those of other Christian traditions.
  • Foster the informal pastoral care which exists among our people.
  • Support the work of Pastoral Visitors and relay information on peopl in need.
  • Identify community needs and encourage involvement in community activities and issues.
Taking a full part in the work of ‘Churches Together in Sandbach’ and in the activities arranged by it.
Seeking to develop the use of our Church buildings as a place of worship, a community resource and an educational facility.

The Wesley Centre Mission Statement:

A VISION of a building, a suite of buildings, alive with activity. With young people, and old people, served and serving through a range of activities. A vision of a community being served by a church seeking to fulfil its calling to share God’s love with, and speak God’s word to, our neighbours. Activity inspiring, and inspired by, Sunday worship and weekday prayer. A church with its worship area open to its weekday visitors, where welcome and witness are two sides of the one coin. A building where modern facilities complement heritage and history; where church as building and church as people come together to enable true friendship and true worship. A building and a people in which Christ is to be found.

Property – Towards a Policy


In seeking to determine policy with regard to our Property we are mindful of the danger of Church being identified with buildings. The church buildings are not the Church, rather they are a resource of the Churh, entrusted to us by God in order that we might do His work. In using and caring for our buildings we seek to be good stewards of all the gifts God has given us, including property, money, and people’s time. Our church buildings must enable the mission of the church, and not disable that mission. We must be aware of what our property says to those around us. In considering our policy with regard to our Property we have considered questions such as ‘What is our property for? Is the answer different for different buildings? Is what it should be for different to what it is now?’.

We believe policy must relate to:

  1. use and management of buildings
  2. care and provision/maintenance of buildings
  3. access to buildings

Use and Management of Buildings

Currently the Church building is used for Worship (weekly), occasional offices, and very occasional rehearsals and concerts. It is also a sign of Christian presence to the town, a noticeboard, and a link to the past with a heritage significance.
We believe that good stewardship must mean the building being used more often and by more people than at present.
We also believe that the invitation to ‘come to church’ is more likely to be responded to by people who have already been inside the building.
Our policy is to develop the use of the Church building as (i) a place of worship, (ii) a community resource, and (iii) an educational facility (in contact with local schools).

The Hall and ancillary rooms are currently used for work with children and young people, both church sponsored and other, for worship and prayer, for social/fellowship events/groups, for fund raising purposes, for community/charity events/groups, and for church councils and meetings.
In line with our core objectives we identify the priority for use as follows:

  1. Our work with children and young people (Junior Church/Toddlers/Holiday Club etc.);
  2. Other church activities (worship and prayer/social and fellowship/training/ecumenical/organisation etc.);
  3. Other work with children and young people (Playgroup/Guides etc.);
  4. Community and charity groups (Alcoholics Anonymous/Ladies’ Choir/Rotary etc.);
  5. Private hire and commercial use.

The use of the premises will be managed by a Lettings Secretary in the light of the above priorities. The property will be adequately insured. We will ensure good practise in matters of Health and Safety.

Care and Provision/Maintenance of Buildings

It is important that we care for and maintain our buildings to a good standard. To do so is to exercise good stewardship, and is implicitly part of our missionary task as our buildings are a sign of the church’s mission and welcome.

Housekeeping - cleaning:

  1. The church building will continue to be cleaned by members on a rota;
  2. The hall and ancillary rooms will be the responsibility of a cleaner.


  1. Church building We will:
    1. appoint ‘church fabric group’ to be responsible for maintenance and improvement (accountable to Church Council);
    2. budget appropriately to properly maintain;
    3. continue/initiate necessary major repair/improvements;
    4. institute rolling programme of inspection and maintenance.
  2. Hall and ancillary rooms We will:
    1. appoint steering group (with time limits) to prepare the way towards a new building linked to the church building;
    2. do adequate maintenance in the interim.
  3. Access to buildings We will seek to enable easy and equal access for all.

Sandbach Methodist Church Health & Safety Policy

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Health & Safety Regulations apply to places where someone is employed. The Health and Safety Executive strongly recommend that volunteers are given the same level of protection as employees and that there is a general duty of care to everyone who uses the church. In addition Local Authority Environmental Health Officers are specifically charged with enforcing aspects of health and safety legislation in public buildings.

List of Contents:

Name of buildings: Sandbach Methodist Church & Wesley Centre
Address: Wesley Avenue, CW11 1DG & Chapel Street, CW11 1DS

1. General statement of policy

Our policy, so far as is reasonably practicable, is to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all our employees, casual labour and voluntary helpers, and to provide such information, training and supervision as they need for this purpose. We will also endeavour to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all members of the Congregation, contractors, visitors and others who may visit the Church, Church grounds and any associated buildings. The allocation of duties for safety matters and the particular arrangements that we will make to implement the policy are set out below.

The policy will be kept up to date, particularly in the light of any changes to our buildings or activities. To ensure this, the policy and the way in which it has operated will be reviewed regularly and the appropriate changes made. In order to ensure that health and safety matters are kept constantly under review, an item on health and safety will be on the agenda for all meetings of the Church Council, and sub-committees and employees and voluntary workers will be consulted on a regular basis in order to seek their views on health and safety matters.

Signed: [Revd. Kim Stilwell]
Chair of Church Council
Date: 23 January 2014
[Review date not later than January 2016]

2. Organisation and responsibilities

2.1 Responsibility of the Church Council

The Church Council has overall accountability for health and safety. It will ensure that arrangements are in place to satisfy health and safety regulations and appropriate Codes of Practice. The Church Council will also ensure that the health and safety policy is implemented.

2.2 Roles and Responsibilities

Those persons appointed to these roles carry the responsibility for the day-to-day implementation of the arrangements outlined in this policy.

2.2.1 Property Committee

The detailed content of this policy will be maintained by the Committee, who will also ensure that resources are appropriately prioritised and co-ordinated with the other demands required for good stewardship of the buildings

2.2.2 Property Steward/Secretary

This job holder will be the main contact with the Circuit/District /Connexion for all property matters including new guidance relating to Health & Safety

2.2.3 Health & Safety Officer

The responsibility of the person appointed shall be to:

  1. be familiar with health and safety regulations as far as they concern church premises;
  2. be familiar with the health and safety policy and arrangements and ensure they are observed;
  3. take responsibility for the Property manual
  4. ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe systems of work are in place;
  5. ensure that safety equipment and clothing is provided and used by all personnel where this is required;
  6. ensure that all plant, equipment and tools are properly maintained and in good condition and that all operators have received the appropriate training;
  7. ensure that adequate access and egress is maintained;
  8. ensure adequate firefighting equipment is available and maintained;
  9. ensure that food hygiene regulations and procedures are observed
  10. have specific responsibility for …
    – Plant and machinery (6)
    – Working at high levels (9)
    – Contractors (17)
    – Room 6 * (Debt Advice Centre)
    * this room is only accessible to volunteers and clients of the service and caretakers and master key holders in an emergency

2.2.4 Buildings Manager

The responsibility of the person appointed shall be to:

  1. provide day to day supervision of the paid caretaker / cleaner
  2. ensure the church and Wesley Centre, are clean and tidy;
  3. ensure the church grounds are properly maintained
  4. have specific responsibility for …
    – Accident book/Accident reporting (3.1)
    – Storage and safety precautions for hazardous substances
    – Fire alarm system (3.2.2)
    – Fire extinguishers (3.2.1)
    – Portable electrical appliances (3.1)
    – Fixed electrical system (3.4)
    – Manual handling (3.11)
    – Condition of floors and stairs
    – Condition of church grounds
    – Building defects/glazing (3.13)

2.2.5 Project Management

Various individuals may be asked to lead individual projects and they are also responsible to ensure that health & safety matters are fully considered

2.3 Responsibility of employees and voluntary workers

All employees and voluntary workers have a responsibility to co-operate in the implementation of this health and safety policy and to take reasonable care of themselves and others whilst on church business or premises.

Employees and voluntary workers must therefore:

  1. comply with safety rules, operating instructions and working procedures;
  2. use protective clothing and equipment when it is required;
  3. report any fault or defect in equipment immediately to the appropriate person;
  4. report all accidents (however minor), injuries, near misses or other potential safety hazards as soon as possible;
  5. not misuse anything provided in the interests of health and safety.

A schedule of inducted and trained volunteers will be held in the property manual

2.4 Other responsible Persons

Responsibility for safety in particular areas has been also been allocated as follows:

A nominated person responsible for food preparation (3.10)

The Stewards on duty are responsible for ensuring the premises and external environment are in a safe condition and appropriate safety measures are untaken throughout times of worship.

Caretakers will check the safe condition of the building between hirers

The Booking Secretary will ensure that hirers have received a copy of the fire policy, the conditions of hire contract, and the safeguarding policy and declaration

The policy is available to all users of the premises

3. Arrangements for implementation of the policy

This section sets out our arrangements to minimise as far as is reasonably practicable risks to the health and safety of employees, voluntary workers, members of the congregation, hirers of the Wesley Centre, other visitors and contractors.

3.1 Accidents and first aid

First aid boxes are located in the Church washroom, the kitchen and room 1 in the Wesley Centre

Trained first aiders are: Revd Kim Stilwell, Karen Foster, Ann Horsfield, Andrew Stolworthy, Norma Stolworthy. First Aid boxes are checked annually to check contents and expiry dates.

The accident book is located in the foyer of the Wesley Centre

All accidents and incidents are entered in the accident book or, in more serious instances, on an accident report form and Methodist Insurance advised.

When the church or church hall is let to outside organisations or individuals, they are told in writing that, in the event of an accident, details must be entered in the accident book. Accident books and accident records are regularly reviewed by the Health & Safety Officer.

3.2 Fire safety

Our policy is to fulfil our obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. In order to achieve this, we undertake the following:

  • an assessment of the fire risks in the church and associated buildings and the risks to our neighbours. This is carried out either as a specific exercise or as part of our general health and safety risk assessments;
  • a check that a fire can be detected in a reasonable time and that people can be warned;
  • a check that people who may be in the building can get out safely including, if necessary, the provision of emergency lighting and fire exit signage;
  • to provide reasonable firefighting equipment;
  • a check that those in the building know what to do if there is a fire;
  • a regular check that our firefighting equipment is in place and is serviceable, and that there is an annual maintenance contract in place with a reputable company.

3.2.1 Fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are kept in the following locations:
Church/9L water (4) … left and right exit at front, upstairs gallery at back. (Spare in meter cupboard)
Church/6Kg CO2 (2) … organ, boiler room
Church/Hydrospray (1) … toilet area
Church/powder(1) … boiler room (spare)
Wesley Centre/6L hydrospray (5) … outer foyer, hall, corridor, top of front stairs, top of back stairs,
Wesley Centre/6Kg CO2 (4) … kitchen, outer foyer, Main hall, upstairs corridor,
Wesley Centre/9L water(1) … Henshall Lounge
Wesley Centre/6K powder (2) … boiler room (one spare)
Wesley Centre/fire blanket is located in the kitchen area.
The extinguishers are checked every month by the responsible person to ensure that they are still in place and have not been discharged. The extinguishers noted above are checked and maintained annually by Procyon of Crewe

3.2.2 Fire alarm system

Details of the fire alarm procedures are covered by a separate policy (see notice board).

The system is checked every six months by Procyon of Crewe.

In the event of a system malfunction or alarm activation then the nominated responsible person should be immediately informed.

3.2.3 Evacuation procedure

For large services and concerts, where the congregation/audience exceeds 100, a competent person will supervise our procedures for stewarding/evacuation. These are as follows:

  1. 1 All designated fire doors must be unlocked before the service/event commences and be clearly marked as fire exits using the ‘Running Man’ symbol;
  2. A check must be made that all fire doors can be opened;
  3. A trained steward must be allotted to each fire door and have responsibility for persons in a specific part of the church
  4. Responsibility for using each fire extinguisher will be allotted to named and trained stewards;
  5. In the event of an emergency (fire/bomb threat, etc.), an announcement to leave the building will be made;
  6. Persons will assemble in the car park or in Chapel Street
  7. The emergency services will be contacted immediately by a nominated person using a mobile phone

3.2.4 Evacuation drills

Fire evacuation drills will be carried out annually. All employees and voluntary workers should ensure they are familiar with escape routes and ensure these are kept clear and unobstructed.

3.3 Electrical safety

  1. 1. A list of all our portable electrical appliances is maintained by the responsible person;
  2. Every year plugs, cables and sockets will be inspected by the responsible person to ensure that there are no loose connections, worn flexes or trailing leads. Any repairs needed will be carried out.
  3. Every year our portable electrical equipment will be examined by a competent person with an appropriate level of electrical knowledge and experience. Where appropriate a professional company will be asked to carry out tests on specific equipment. Any unsafe equipment will be safely disposed of.
  4. Every year a visual inspection will be carried out of the fixed electrical installation by the responsible person. Any defects will be reported to the Property Committee for action;
  5. Every five years, the fixed electrical system will be inspected and tested by a competent contractor who is a ‘Full Scope’ member of the NICEIC, ECA or NAPIT. Any necessary remedial work will be carried out;
  6. At intervals of not more than two and a half years our lightning conductor system will be examined and tested by a competent specialist firm of lighting engineers;
  7. It is our policy not to sell any second-hand electrical goods unless they have been inspected and tested by a suitably qualified person and a register of such equipment is maintained;
  8. Misuse and abuse of electricity is a significant cause of fires and injury. Faulty electrical equipment can kill. All employees and voluntary workers must observe the following:
    1. visually check all electrical equipment before use;
    2. report all faults immediately to the responsible person;
    3. do not attempt to use or repair faulty equipment;
    4. no electrical equipment is to be brought onto the premises and used until it has been tested by the approved person and entered in the electrical equipment record;
    5. electrical equipment should be switched off and disconnected when not in use for long periods;
    6. flexible cables should be positioned and protected so that they do not constitute a tripping hazard and are not subject to mechanical damage.

3.4 Gas equipment safety

Our gas boilers and any other gas equipment is maintained and checked annually by a competent contractor who is registered with the Gas Safe Register.

Any necessary work required for safety is implemented immediately;

These arrangements are checked by the responsible person.

3.5 Hazardous substances

The responsible person will maintain a list of all hazardous substances used in the church/hall.

Where possible, we have eliminated the use of hazardous substances. Where this is not possible, we have safety arrangements for all hazardous substances, [which include substances marked as ‘harmful, irritant, corrosive, toxic, very toxic, flammable, highly flammable, extremely flammable, explosive, oxidising or dangerous for the environment’]

Product information provided by the manufacturers are used to determine the correct method of use, protective clothing needed, method of storage, and action to take in the event of an accident for example:

Name of substance: Premium Dishwash
Hazard level: corrosive
Storage: in kitchen next to sanitizer
Protective clothing: Wear eye protection and gloves when handling

Name of substance: Tribac 100 sanitizer
Hazard level: low when diluted for use
Storage: in a locked box in the caretakers cupboard
Protective clothing: Wear eye protection when handling

Name of substance: Bleach
Hazard level: irritant and corrosive
Storage: in a locked box in the caretakers cupboard and in church basement
Protective clothing: Wear eye protection and gloves when handling

Small quantities of toilet cleaner, spray and wipe cleaner, liquid detergent etc are also stored in the caretaker’s cupboard on high shelving away from children. Larger quantities are stored in the church basement.

No materials are stored in unmarked containers.

3.6 Safety of plant and machinery

The responsible person will maintain a list of all items of plant and machinery. The procedures for checking and rules for use are as follows:
– Employees and voluntary workers must not operate plant or machinery that they are not trained and authorised to use;
– Before using any item of plant or machinery, a check must be made to ensure it is in a safe working condition, correctly adjusted, and there are no loose nuts, bolts or other defects;
– Machinery must be switched off before any adjustments are made;
– Any defect and damage found to any item of plant or machinery must be reported to the responsible person;
– All plant and machinery will be regularly maintained and a schedule kept of maintenance requirements.

Ladders may only be used when other equipment such as tower scaffolds or mobile elevated work platforms cannot be used and for work of short duration provided they can be safely secured. This may necessitate the use of ladder ties;

Persons must not work on their own unless they have a means of communication and have notified a colleague of the details of the work being undertaken and agreed a procedure to ensure their safety is checked on;

The following items of plant and equipment are tested by a competent person in accordance with an inspection programme.
Lift in Wesley Centre – maintenance contract with Gartec Ltd
Organ in Church – maintenance By Peter Spencer Ltd

A procedure for the safety of other plant and machinery will be maintained and will include a plant and equipment register, training requirements, training records and guidelines on the use of personal protective equipment.

3.7 Slips, trips and falls – condition of floors, steps and paths

In order to reduce as far as is reasonably practicable the risk of slips, trips and falls, an inspection will be made every quarter by the responsible person of:
– all floors and stairs in the Church and Wesley Centre
– all paths and steps in the church grounds.

Particular note will be made of moss, algae and leaves on paths. Any defects will be reported to the Property Committee who will arrange for repairs or remedial measures to be carried out.

3.8 Lighting

In order to ensure that the Church and Wesley centre is adequately lit, an inspection will be made every month by the responsible person to ensure that all lights in the church, hall and church grounds are working. Any bulbs that require replacing will be reported the responsible person, who will ensure that the bulbs are replaced following appropriate safety procedures.

3.9 Working at high levels

The following areas are designated as high levels:

  • Chapel entrance area and stairs
  • Chapel Area ground floor (excluding the area under the balcony)
  • Chapel balcony
  • Chapel roof void
  • Wesley Centre main staircase
  • Wesley Centre Atrium
  • Wesley Centre Balcony
  • Wesley Centre hall ceiling void
  • Wesley Centre first floor ceiling void
  • All external areas above 3.5m

Approved contractors may work at high level. Only volunteers and employees included in the working at high level register may work at high level.

Volunteers and employees who may work at height will receive training and a training log will be held in the property manual.

When working at height a work sheet shall be in place that:

  • Describes the task
  • Provides names of persons carrying out the task
  • Captures a review of the risks and measures to be taken to work safely
  • Lists equipment to be used
  • Lists materials to be used

The work sheet will be approved by the person responsible for controlling working at high level

Cleaning and lightweight maintenance which may include, for short durations, the use of ladders will not be subject to working at high level procedures. Such activities include for example, but are not limited to:

  • Hanging displays
  • Cleaning light fittings
  • Changing bulbs
  • Maintaining light fittings, starters, ballasts, diffusers
  • Painting
  • Installing and maintaining lightweight fixtures and fittings, curtain rails
  • Hanging, replacing soft furnishings such as blinds and curtains
  • Occasional work to other areas that may require the use of ladders and steps

Only persons who have received training in the use of ladders may use ladders, a log of training will be kept in the property manual.

3.10 Preparation and provision of food

Food Hygiene Regulations apply to all food prepared and served in the Wesley Centre.

The only exception is for food prepared and cooked at home although we must ensure that such food is transferred under hygienic conditions and subsequently stored at an appropriate temperature before use.

We ensure that we follow the appropriate guidance governing the preparation and storage of foodstuffs;

We ensure that all food handlers receive adequate supervision, instruction and training;

At least one person who supervises such preparation must hold a current certificate of food hygiene or equivalent. A list of all trained personnel is be found in the appendix to this policy. We ensure that the appropriate assessment of risks is carried out for the foods to be prepared and stored including storage at the correct temperatures;

Before any preparation commences, all surfaces coming into contact with food must be wiped and sanitised.

Food stuffs may only be prepared in the kitchen are

We ensure that all external hirers who wish to provide foodstuffs are advised of the facilities and procedures and are advised to have the appropriate insurance.

3.10.1 Cleaning and maintenance

The kitchen floor is given a thorough disinfection weekly and all other external surfaces sanitized. The internal surfaces of refrigerators are cleaned at least 3 monthly and storage cupboards cleaned on at least an annual basis. Any surplus or out of date materials are disposed of.

The temperature in the middle shelf of refrigerators/freezers are recorded in the log book for that purpose at least monthly. The thermometer should be retained in the equipment at all times.

3.11 Manual handling – lifting, carrying and moving loads

  1. Our policy is to eliminate the need for manual handling as far as is reasonably practicable;
  2. Where it is not possible to avoid the need to move loads, we will carry out risk assessments and make use of lifting aids, including trolleys, lifts and hoists as far as possible;
  3. The necessary training will be given to all those employees and voluntary workers who are required to undertake manual handling;
  4. Only those persons who have received the appropriate training are authorised to undertake manual handling tasks.

3.12 Display screen equipment

Our policy is to assess the risks to all habitual users of computer workstations and to reduce those risks to the lowest level possible.

The following factors will be considered when carrying out risk assessments:
– stability and legibility of the screen;
– contrast and brightness of the screen;
– tilt and swivel of the screen;
– suitability of keyboards, desks and chairs;
– the work station environment;
– the user-friendliness of the software.

Daily work routines will involve periods away from the screen. Where necessary, risk assessments will be carried out by the responsible person.

3.13 Hazardous buildings/glazing

  1. Our policy is to ensure that our buildings are safe and without risks to the health, safety and welfare of all who work in and use them. In order to achieve this, the buildings are inspected every 3 months by the responsible person;
  2. Any defects noted are immediately reported to the Property Committee and the procedures put in hand for repairs;
  3. Where necessary, temporary measures are taken to ensure that there is no risk of accident or injury until permanent repairs can be carried out;
  4. A check is made of any asbestos in the building by a competent person noting its location, type and condition. Where necessary, asbestos will be removed by a licensed contractor. Information regarding any asbestos remaining in the building is given to all contractors and anyone else who may be affected;
  5. A check is made of all glazing in the buildings to ensure that any glass in windows below waist height and in doors and beside doors below shoulder height is of a safety material or is protected against breakage.

3.14 Child protection

A separate safeguarding policy is available

A statement upholding our procedures will be made at least annually at Church Council meetings and be suitably recorded. A permanent record will be maintained of all accidents involving children or vulnerable adults.

3.15 Personal safety

Risk assessments will be undertaken to assess the risks to persons working alone in the church, travelling to and from church, accepting persons into their homes, and handling cash and other valuables. Procedures will be documented

3.16 Risk assessments/activities

Risk assessments will be carried out on all areas of the church premises, and all ongoing activities that carry a significant risk, at regular intervals by a competent person in order to meet our obligations under The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Actions will be taken to reduce risk. This process will be documented using the form provided by Methodist Insurance.

Risk assessments will, as necessary, will be carried out on all ‘one off’ hazardous activities arranged by the church and its internal organisations. These might include fun days and fairs, sponsored walks, visits and outings, erection of temporary staging etc.

3.17 Contractors

Anyone entering church premises for the purposes of carrying out work, other than an employee or voluntary worker of the church, will be regarded as a contractor.

All contractors, including the self-employed, must abide by the following:

  1. have their own health and safety policy (where required by law) and be able to provide a copy of the same;
  2. produce evidence that they have appropriate Public and Employers’ Liability insurance in place. A record of this evidence will be maintained;
  3. comply with all the requirements of this health and safety policy and co-operate with the church officials in providing a safe place of work and a safe system of operation;
  4. where plant and machinery is brought onto the church premises by contractors, they must be able to show where necessary that the equipment has been inspected and tested to ensure its safe operation;
  5. contractors may only use sub-contractors or persons other than their own direct employees with the express permission of the church officials. However, responsibility will remain with the contractors;
  6. all contractors will be given detailed instructions regarding the areas where they are permitted to work and the extent of the work they are authorised to undertake.

3.18 Information and enforcement

Environmental Health Service Information:
Contact: Cheshire East Council, Environmental services

Employment Medical Advisory Service

3.19 Health and Safety Awareness

A copy of the HSE poster ‘Health and Safety Law – what you should know’ is displayed in the ground floor corridor.


The current personnel specifically referred to in this policy are:

Property Committee: Revd Kim Stilwell (Chair), Robert Glassonbury (Secretary), Patrick Darnes, Peter Mason, Tom Cooke, David Priaulx (Treasurer).

Health & Safety Officer: Peter Mason

Property Steward/Secretary: Robert Glassonbury

Buildings Manager: Tom Cooke

Food Hygiene: Barbara Glassonbury

Individuals trained for food preparation: [ to be added later ]

******This list will be kept current and is not part of the formal policy *****

Donations and Fundraising Policy for Sandbach Methodist Church

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  1. Sandbach Methodist Church will continue to gives grants and donations to support other charities whose aims and purposes are consistent with its own as part of its mission as well as continue to have fundraising events to raise money for its own funds to support its own mission.
  2. That grants and donations from the Sandbach Methodist Church General Fund and General Charity Fund will be decided by the Church Council and will be reviewed annually. (Next due July 2017)
  3. That there is one chosen overseas charity which will be reviewed every three years (next due July 2017)
  4. That Church Council will be consulted if a church event is being arranged to raise funds for a particular charity, not previously agreed by Church Council.
  5. That, if the church joins with another group to put on an event, the beneficiaries of any profits and payment of fees and expenses to the host venue will be discussed with the performer(s) at the outset.
  6. When publicising events, held by SMC for the benefit of other charities, the charity is named and the statement ‘supported by Sandbach Methodist Church’ forms part of the publicity material and that information regarding that charity is available at the event
  7. That ALL communion collections be allocated to the Sandbach Methodist Church General Charity Fund to cover the regular donations made to the chosen overseas charity. Where a Gift Aid declaration has been completed for Sandbach Methodist Church in these collections, the amount of Gift Aid will be allocated to the General Charity Fund in the financial year in which it is received from HMRC.
  8. That Action for Children, MHA and Easter Offering envelopes continue to be used for specific Sundays in the Methodist year. Named representatives to be responsible for obtaining the envelopes well in advance. The contents of these envelopes will be counted by the Church and banked but the totals will not form part of the Church’s income. A cheque covering the amount collected will be sent to the named representative together with any emptied envelopes completed for Gift Aid. Claiming Gift Aid will be the responsibility of the charity.
  9. That the gross amount of the takings at an event is declared to the treasurer together with expenses paid so that the two amounts can be recorded separately in the church accounts. A simple form is available for this purpose.
  10. That a brief resume of the aims and purposes of each of Sandbach Methodist Church’s own funds, and the charities supported by Sandbach Methodist Church is published with the accounts in the annual report.

Additional information:

Grants and Donations given to support other charities

2016/17 Donations from the Sandbach Methodist Church General Fund
Methodist Church Fund:10% of collections
Fund for the support of Presbyters and Deacons£200
Leaders of Worship and Preachers Trust£75
All We Can£500
Lifeline Debt Advice£500

2016/17 Donations from the General Charity Fund
All We Can Uganda water project£150 per month
Funded from the 12 Communion collections and one fundraising event each year, and any Gift Aid due.
Any shortfall to be made up from the General Fund. Any surplus to remain in the General Charity Fund.

Special collections for charities
Action for ChildrenChristmas Day collection or Carol Service if Christmas Day is a Sunday
Action for Children Envelopes
Action for Children Saturday café
Easter Offering Envelopes
MHA Envelopes
Christian Aid Saturday café
All monies collected for these external organisations to be passed on as soon as possible after receipt. They will be recorded separately in the accounts so as not to be included in the church’s total income.
The Donations and Fundraising Policy to be reviewed annually.

February 2017

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