Hiring out your church hall or other spaces to outside groups or bodies for functions and events – such as training sessions, presentations, meetings, and weddings or other social occasions – can bring in a little extra income to help cover the costs of running the organisation.
However in these events it’s important to establish guidelines around such issues as purpose of hire, building security, health & safety instructions, cleaning, and insurance. It’s also essential to have documentation in place to protect the church from liability claims or costs from property damage.
To start with, a facility-hire policy document should be drawn up, which sets down terms and conditions for use of the facility. When a group or an individual makes a request to hire the facility, a hiring agreement form should be completed. This form should outline the date required and purpose of use – including type of event, number of attendees, and resources required, as well as provide a list of all the terms and conditions for facility use.
Considerations for Terms and Conditions of Use:
- Cost, deposits, payment deadlines and cancellation policy.
- Rules regarding alcohol consumption, gambling, and smoking on the premises.
- Access to the premises, behaviour, noise levels and supervision of children.
- Guidelines for cleaning and securing the building and ensuring that all lights are turned off after the event.
- Guidelines for ensuring the facility is returned in the same condition it was provided in and that all equipment brought in is removed.
- Charges for damage to the property as a result of the event.
- Health & Safety, and fire regulations.
- Safe and appropriate use of equipment including cooking facilities and kitchens.
A Certificate of Currency should be provided by any outside groups or users hiring the facility, to demonstrate proof of liability insurance, and workers’ compensation cover if required. This ensures that the hirer is covered in case of incidences of injury or harm, and that the church is released from liability in such events. In cases of smaller outside users who do not hold insurance, it may be necessary to request that they sign an indemnity form to release the congregation from liability.
(For members of the Churches of Christ who wish to hire church facilities, insurance cover is already provided by CCI Insurance).
Please note that samples of Hiring Agreements for both one-off occasions and recurring or ongoing events can be obtained from Churches of Christ Insurance. Contact us for more details.
Written by Tess Oliver
Tags: asset protection, fire, health & safety