1. Booking Requirements
    1. All Bookings are accepted at the discretion of the Church Hall Committee
    2. The Hirer will ensure he/she has read and understood the Chew Stoke Church Hall SAFEGUARDING POLICY below
    3. The Hirer will comply with all TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF HIRE
    4. The Hirer will be given a Hall Access Code once the booking is confirmed
    5. First Time Hirers may be required to pay the booking fee in advance
  2. Hirer’s Responsibilities
    The Hirer is responsible for making sure that:

    1. The number of people using the hall is not more than permitted by licence – a maximum of 120 standing, 100 seated
    2. Use of the premises is fully supervised by adults
    3. Behaviour of all persons remains under control
    4. Car parking arrangements are controlled to avoid obstruction of the road in Pilgrims Way and outside the hall gates to allow access by local traffic and emergency vehicles
    5. Any electrical or electronic equipment brought into the hall is safe for use
    6. The minimum noise is made on arrival and on departure.
    7. The sound level of amplified equipment used during the event is not loud enough to concern neighbouring properties
    8. Alcohol brought into the hall for a private event is not sold on the premises
    9. No person under 18 years old is allowed to drink alcohol on the premises
  3. Limitations of use
    1. The hall is not to be sub-hired by the Hirer
    2. The hall is not used for anything other than described on the Booking Form
    3. No animals (other than Guide Dogs) to be brought into the hall without written permission
    4. No action is allowed that may render the insurance cover invalid
    5. No drugs are brought into the hall and no smoking takes place in any part of the hall including the toilets
    6. No unauthorised heating appliances should be brought in and used
    7. No internal decorations of a combustible nature should be put up
    8. No performances involving danger to the Public or of a sexually explicit nature to be given
  4. Setting Up and Reinstating
    1. The Hirer must set the Hall Heating in accordance with the Instructions on the website Facilities page
    2. At the end of the hire period everything should be left clean and tidy
    3. The Lincat Water Heater in the kitchen should be switched off.
    4. All equipment, tables and chair should be stored correctly
    5. The hall must be cleared of people and all lights switched off
    6. The Heating Thermostat must be re-set to 5 degrees. If the heating is left on a charge will be added to the Booking Fee.
    7. The building must be locked up safely – the Hirer will be given an access code once the booking has been confirmed.
    8. All rubbish must be removed from the premises and taken away from the site
  5. The Safety of Children
    The Hirer shall ensure that all activities for children under 8 years of age comply with the Children Act of 1989. Care should be taken that all juveniles are supervised in an appropriate manner and not exploited in any way.  Please refer to the Safeguarding Policy below for guidance
  6. Compliance with other Relevant Legislation
    1. Do not contravene the laws relating to gaming and betting
    2. Comply with all conditions relating to the hall Licensing Agreements
    3. Understand the requirements of food preparation if handling or serving food. Dairy products, vegetables and meat products must be stored in a refrigerator
    4. Ensure that no fly posting or unauthorised advertising is done without the consent of the hall Bookings Secretary
  7. Public safety Compliance
    1. The Hirer shall comply with regulations in respect of the hall by the Fire Authority, Local Authority and Licensing Authorities
    2. The Hirer must acknowledge having received instruction in the following:
      1. Operating the hall Heating System
      2. The action to be taken in event of fire – evacuating the hall and calling the Fire Brigade
      3. The location and use of Fire Equipment
      4. The location of Exit Doors and Escape Routes
      5. The location of The First Aid Box and Accident Book – kept in the Kitchen
    3. In advance of any entertainment, the Hirer must check the following:
      1. All fire doors are unlocked
      2. Exit doors and escape routes are unobstructed
      3. Exit signs are illuminated
      4. There are no obvious fire hazards on the premises
    4. All accidents must be reported to the Hall Committee
  8. Indemnity
    The Hirer shall indemnify all members of the Hall Committee against:

    1. The cost of repair of damage done on the premises by the Hirer or guests and invitees
    2. All actions, claims and costs arising from any breach of Hall Conditions of Hire
    3. All claims in respect to damages for loss of property or injuries to persons arising as a result of use of the hall by the Hirer or guests and invitees
    4. All claims, losses or damages and costs incurred as a result of any nuisance or damage caused by a third party as a result of actions of the Hirer or guests and invitees
  9. Insurance
    The Hall maintains its own Public Liability insurance cover and this extends to cover loss, damage, or personal injury arising out of the Hall’s own negligence. All other insurance issues are the province of the HirerItems stored on the premises by the Hirer before occupation of the Hall are not insured, except by prior arrangement with the Bookings SecretaryAll Hirers should consider whether the nature of the event booked requires specific insurance cover. If needed, it is the responsibility of the Hirer to take out this cover and show a copy of the Certificate of Insurance to the Booking Secretary. Failure to do so will render the booking void
  10. Accidents and Dangerous Occurrences
    The Hirer must report, as soon as possible, all accidents and dangerous occurrences, all accidents involving injury to the general public, to the Bookings Secretary and/or authorised members of the Hall Committee
    Any failure of Hall Equipment must also be reported as soon as possible
  11. Storage of Equipment
    The Hall Committee accepts no responsibility for any property or equipment left on the premises by the Hirer
    All property and equipment must be removed at the end of the hire period. In the event that items are not removed by the agreed time, the Hall Committee may dispose of such as items as it sees fit.
  12. No Alterations
    No alterations and additions, however temporary, may be made to the premises and no fixtures may be installed or attached in any way to any part of the premises without prior written approval by the Hall Committee. Any approved alteration or fixing of any attachment must be dismantled and the Hall made good to the satisfaction of the Committee
  13. Cancellation by the Hirer
    If the Hirer cancels a booking before the date of the event and no booking is made by way of replacement the Hall Committee may require a payment of the hire fee regardless or withhold the refunding of any booking deposit paid.
  14. Cancellation by the Church Hall
    The Hall reserves the right to cancel a booking by written notice in the event of:

    1. The premises being required for use as a Polling Station for a Parliamentary, Local Government election by-election or referendum
    2. If the hiring may lead to a breach of the licensing conditions or other statuary requirements
    3. The premises becomes unfit for use by the Hirer
    4. An emergency arises requiring use of the premises as a shelter for victims of weather conditions, fire, explosions or the risk of these or similar disasters

    In such cases the Hirer shall be entitled to a refund of any deposit or hire fee already paid but the Hall shall not be liable for any resulting direct or indirect loss to the Hirer

  15. Restrictions of Benefit of the Hire Agreement
    None of the provisions of the agreement are intended or will operate in favour of any party or person not named in this agreement. The agreement constitutes permission only to use the premises and confers no rights of tenancy to the Hirer

St Andrew’s Church, Chew Stoke
Safeguarding Policy 2018


This document is a concise safeguarding policy statement to share with the Church Community, and a summary of the full Diocesan Policy. Approved by the Parochial Church Council, it has been adopted by the Church Hall Committee.

The statement includes agreement to follow the House of Bishops Practice Guidance, and the Diocesan Safeguarding Policy which refers to anyone working with groups of people, including children and vulnerable adults.

It provides the basis for developing more detailed Church safeguarding policies and procedures to be implemented by the PCC and the church community more widely.

The latest versions of the Guidance and Policy are on the Diocesan website, and will be updated as new information comes out from the House of Bishops.

The Policy

The Church of England, in all aspects of its life, is committed to and will promote the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. It fully accepts and endorses the Children Act 1989 & 2004 & The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

Statement of Principles

This statement applies to children, young people and adults.

Christian communities should be places where all people feel welcomed, respected and safe from abuse. The Church is particularly called by God to support those less powerful and those without a voice in our society. Our Church is working towards creating a safe and non-discriminatory environment by being aware of some of the particular situations that create vulnerability. Issues which need to be considered include both the physical environment and the attitudes of workers and volunteers.

We are committed to:

  • The care, nurture of, and respectful pastoral ministry with all children, young people and adults
  • The safeguarding and protection of all children and adults
  • The establishment of a safe, caring church community which provides an environment where there is a culture of informed vigilance regarding the dangers of abuse, and where victims of abuse can report or disclose abuse and find support.
  • The promotion of best practice that contributes to the prevention of abuse.

A person (adult or child) who might be considered vulnerable has the right to:

  • Be treated with respect and dignity regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexuality, impairment or disability, age, religion, language of communication or cultural background
  • Have their privacy respected.
  • Be able to lead as independent a life as possible.
  • Be able to choose how to lead their life.
  • Have the protection of the law.
  • Have their rights upheld regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexuality, impairment or disability, age, religion or cultural background.
  • Be listened to.

St Andrews Church community, through its workers and volunteers, accepts that it is responsible for children, young people and vulnerable adults when on church property, in a church building and other premises being used by the church and during church activities. Responsibility extends to travel between places, when  organised by the church. However, the church is not responsible for private arrangements.

The safeguarding and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults is everyone’s responsibility, not just parents or those who have formal leadership or caring responsibilities. Procedures and formal processes alone, will not protect children and adults. The church community, including all its members, needs to be aware of the dangers and be prepared to report concerns and take action if necessary.

The welfare of the child, young person or vulnerable adult must come first. A proper balance must be struck between protecting children, young people and/or vulnerable adults and respecting the rights of the respondent.

The rights of the respondent to a complaint and their need for support are important and are given due weight, once the immediate safety and protection of children, young people and/or vulnerable adults has been assured

In any situations where there may be a difference of opinion about priorities, the welfare of any child or vulnerable adult should remain of paramount concern.

Implications for Policy and Procedures

1. Our Church community will foster and encourage best practice.

We will work with the Diocesan Safeguarding team, statutory bodies, voluntary agencies and other faith communities to promote the safety and well-being of children, young people and vulnerable adults.

2. We are committed to acting promptly whenever a concern is raised about a child, young person or vulnerable adult or a complaint made about the behaviour of an adult in a position of trust, and will work with the Diocesan Team, and the appropriate statutory bodies when an investigation is necessary. We are also committed to the support of those who have been abused and to listening to the voices of survivors, who can help the church learn lessons from the past.

The term ‘complaint’ can cover an allegation, disclosure or statement, something seen or something heard. The complaint need not be made in writing but once received it must be recorded and acted upon. Complaints can be taken from alleged victims and third parties.

3. We will carefully select and train all those with any responsibility for children, young people and vulnerable adults within the church in line with safer recruitment principles, including taking up references and the use of criminal records checks.

The suitability of an applicant or nominated volunteer for work with children, young people or vulnerable adult should not be solely dependent upon Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) disclosures and vetting checks. Someone whose DBS disclosure is clear may still be unsuitable. Hence the need for an interview and references to assure ourselves, as far as we can, that someone is suitable.

As part of the Safer Recruitment process, it is the policy of this Church that:

  • All those who regularly work with children, young people and vulnerable adults including those who work on a rota, should have enhanced DBS checks if they reach the criteria ( as identified in the SR guidance);
  • Those who work only occasionally will be asked to apply for a DBS check if they reach the criteria;
  • Those who manage or supervise people who work with vulnerable groups will be required to be DBS plus Barred List checked if they reach the criteria.

4. If a child, young person or vulnerable adult comes to notice as having suffered abuse in the past, church officers will notify the Diocesan Safeguarding Team and appropriate authorities to ensure that the matter is on record. Support will be offered to adult survivors of child abuse, who will also be encouraged to make a statement to the Police if they have not done so before.

5. We will seek to offer informed pastoral care and support to anyone who has suffered abuse in the church community, developing with them an appropriate ministry that recognises the importance of understanding the needs of those who have been abused, including their feelings of alienation and / or isolation. We recognise that anyone can be a victim of abuse in any setting, including in their own home, and in a church environment, and will work hard to make our church a safe place for people to disclose any concerns they have and receive appropriate support. We will seek to protect survivors of abuse from the possibility of further harm and abuse.

6. We will seek to challenge any abuse of power, especially by anyone in a position of trust and responsibility, where they are trusted by others.

7. We will seek to offer pastoral care and support, including supervision, and referral to the appropriate authorities, to any member of our Church community known to have offended against a child, young person or adult who is vulnerable. We will support them in continuing to attend church services whilst supervising their attendance to reduce the risk of further harm.

8. This Church agrees to follow the Practice Guidance from the House of Bishops on safeguarding matters, and to adopt the Diocese of Bath and Wells Safeguarding Policies.

Safeguarding Policy Guidelines for Hall Hirers

National Guidelines state that all organisations working with children, young people and vulnerable adults share a commitment to safeguard and promote their welfare. Everyone in the community has a responsibility to ensure there is a welcome for all people and a responsibility for their safety, well-being and protection.

  • Every organisation needs to have appropriate arrangements in place for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in the community.
  • Those involved with working with children, young people and vulnerable adults in the parish need to know how to report concerns that they may have about the children, young people or vulnerable adults they meet that are in line with national procedures.
  • Those involved in working with children, young people and vulnerable adults need to adopt appropriate codes of practice.
  • All who work directly with children, young people and vulnerable adults need to undergo safe recruitment procedures.
Procedures and Associated Guidelines

If you are concerned or have a sense of unease about any behaviour or abuse toward a child, young person or vulnerable adult, take the concerns seriously.

If a child, young person or vulnerable adult tell you that they or someone they know is being abused this must be taken seriously.

All concerns should be referred to either the Rector or your appointed Safeguarding Representative, who will forward them to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.

What to do:

  • Listen carefully to what is said, rather than directly question him/her.
  • Accept what is said – children or vulnerable adults rarely tell lies about being abused.
  • Take the abuse seriously ( no incident of abuse is ever insignificant )
  • Reassure them that they have done the right thing in bringing it to your attention.
  • Write down exactly what was said, including any inappropriate language that might have been used, whilst it is still fresh in your mind, making a note of the timing, setting and people present.
  • Explain what actions you are going to take – that the information must be shared.
  • Report what you have heard, seen or suspect, either to your Appointed Safeguarding Representative or the Rector, or if neither is available, to the Diocese of Bath & Wells Safeguarding Advisor.

Do Not:

  • Dismiss your concerns – the diocese will take them seriously.
  • Approach the person about whom you have concerns. Instead seek further advice ( as above )
  • Confront the alleged abuser
  • Ask questions to obtain further information
  • Promise confidentiality or make promises that cannot be kept.
  • Stop the person who is freely recalling what has happened. If they are interrupted at this stage, they may not continue and might not let you, or anyone else know what has happened.
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