Re opening risk assessment

Towards Re-opening Church Buildings: Covid-19 Risk Assessment Checklist for Parish Churches

Version Control

Issue Date

Version Number

Issued by

22nd May 2020

1

The House of Bishops COVID-19 Recovery Group

8th June 2020

2

The House of Bishops COVID-19 Recovery Group

12th June 2020

3

The House of Bishops COVID-19 Recovery Group

 

Churches and cathedrals are legally permitted to open for purposes of individual private prayer from 13th June.

House of Bishops guidance provides for churches to open for funerals from 15th June.

 

The government guidance for the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic requires a COVID-19 risk assessment to be carried out for every building and site open to the public. This document provides a template risk assessment, with links to the relevant advice notes. It relates to opening up church and cathedral buildings to clergy and members of the public entering for individual private prayer. As well as offering guidance on best-practice, it is also intended to help parishes make a decision on whether to open for individual private prayer or not, based on their local circumstances, resources and context.

 

Future versions of this document will be produced when different forms of public worship and access are allowed.

 

A risk assessment relating to contractors and construction workers forms part of an updated document giving advice on access for these groups. This can be found on the Church of England Coronavirus pages.

 

 

This risk assessment was updated on 30.07.20 in preparation for church opening for private prayer, without a welcomer, from 02.08.20

 

 

 

 

Area of Focus

Controls required

Additional information

Action by who?

Completed – date and name

Preparation of the Church for

private prayer.

Marking our Communities 1: Opening the Doors (3rd June) notes the following regarding re-entry:

‘[For some] re-entry will feel like a joyful homecoming…for some relief and celebration will be tinged with anxiety…for others, feelings of grief and loss will be dominant.’

At St Leonard’s we wish to be mindful of all of these factors when organising and making provision for re-entry.

 

 

 

One point of entry to the church building clearly identified.

  • Entry by the south door; exit by the north door.
  • Both doors to be propped open.
  • All tables etc. to be cleared from north door exit and placed in the back of the church as necessary
  • Clear signage available.

 

 

 

 

JD and AP on 13.06.20

 

 

 

 

Completed 13.06.20

A suitable lone working policy has been consulted

Lone worker policy to be reviewed and circulated to all supporting re-entry.

AP by 15.06.20

Completed 14.06.20

Buildings have been aired before use.

AP and JD will follow guidance on re-opening closed building from page 3 of Access to church buildings during lockdown: general advice for incumbents, churchwardens and PCC members.

JD and AP on 13.06.20

Completed 13.06.20

Check for animal waste and general cleanliness.

See note above.

JD and AP on 13.06.20

Completed 13.06.20

Ensure water systems are flushed through before use.

                                                           

See note above.

JD and AP on 13.06.20

Completed 13.06.20

Switch on and check electrical and heating systems if needed.

See note above.

JD and AP on 13.06.20

Completed 13.06.20

Holy water stoups and the font are empty.

See note above.

JD and AP on 13.06.20

Completed 13.06.20

 

Publishing re opening times and protocols.

 

AP to post on the church website.

JD to put up posters on the gate.

CN to be asked to add a ‘watch the website’ note to the next parish magazine.

Actioned 14.06.20

Management of the Church for private prayer.

Marking our Communities 1: Opening the Doors (3rd June) notes the following regarding re-entry:

‘[For some] re-entry will feel like a joyful homecoming…for some relief and celebration will be tinged with anxiety…for others, feelings of grief and loss will be dominant.’

At St Leonard’s we wish to be mindful of all of these factors when organising and making provision for re-entry.

 

Church will be open for two designated sessions in the first instance: Wednesday afternoon and Sunday afternoon between 2:00pm and 4:00pm.

This is a very cautious start and it is hoped that wider opening can swiftly follow. Wednesday and Sunday have been chosen to:

  • reflect the normal pattern of services
  • provide opportunities for those who work on different days
  • provide opportunities for the wider community when many might be visiting the parish to walk in Heartwood Forest.

In the first instance, the timeframe of 2 hours has been set for the benefit of the person looking after the church whilst it is open and their welfare in accessing the toilet.

 

 

First opening 17.06.20

Church will not be left unattended. One member of the church congregation will always be present to:

  • manage controls
  • oversee cleaning and locking up
  • provide a welcome and support to visitors as part of our Christian mission.

JD and AP will attend church in the first instance.

Other offers of help have been kindly received.

As other congregation members are asked to help, full training/support will be provided.

Church will now be unattended from 05.08.20.

Anne to confirm an opening and closing protocol by 02.08.20

 

Jenny and Anne to check signage on 02.08.20

First opening 17.06.20

Entry to church by the south door only.

Exit from church by the north door only.

Only 8 visitors allowed in church at a time. Grey plastic chairs (cleaned after each session) provided outside for those waiting.

 

Signage will need to reflect this and ask visitors to wait outside.

In place 13.06.20

All visitors will be asked to sanitise their hands, on arrival and on departure.

Appropriate hand sanitiser will be needed.

JD to acquire.

In place 13.06.20

Visitors will be asked to only access the chancel and the lower half of the nave.

This will need to be explained to visitors on arrival.

 

Controls in place 13.06.20

Visitors are welcome to sit on pews but will be reminded to remain at least 2m (6ft) apart.

Signs in church should support this.

AP to source.

JD and AP to put up on 13.06.20

In place 13.06.20

Visitors will be offered a prayer labels and pencil on arrival. All prayers can be written whilst sitting in the pews. All prayer ‘labels’ to be left on the altar. Pencils to be taken home by the visitor.

JD to source prayer labels and cheap pencils to give away.

 

Items sourced and ready in church.

 

Remove Bibles from pews and kneelers to reduce the risk from hard to clean surfaces.

 

JD and AP on 13.06.20

Completed 13.06.20

 

Ensure all waste receptacles have disposable liners (e.g. polythene bin bags) to reduce the risk of those responsible for removing them.

 

JD and AP on 13.06.20

Completed 13.06.20

Cleaning the church after general use (no known exposure to anyone with Coronavirus symptoms)

Church welcomer is responsible for cleaning after each opening session.

Church welcomer should not be in a vulnerable group and not displaying symptoms.

Masks and gloves should be available for the church welcomer to use.

Cleaning rota to be reactivated. See notes on Wednesday communion risk assessment.

JD to source appropriate PPE.

In place with full instructions of safe usage

13.06.20

Check PCC/Chapter liability insurance is up to date.

 

JD to confirm.

Confirmed

13.06.20

Suitable cleaning materials provided, depending on materials and if historic surfaces are to be cleaned.

All cleaning waste to be double bagged, removed from the church and placed in outside bins.

See the advice note on keeping church buildings clean for appropriate cleaning materials and methods.

JD to review and procure the appropriate resources.

Full instructions to be provided by JD.

In place with full instructions of safe usage

13.06.20

 

All surfaces to be cleaned at the end of each open session.

Initial opening leaves 72 hours between sessions which will reduce the risk of re infection.

 

 

 

Back of the church, including the kitchen, toilet and books will be out of bounds. This will reduce the surfaces which need to be cleaned.

Chair from the chancel to be placed in the aisle to remind visitors of access arrangements.

JD and AP to complete on 13.06.20

In place 13.06.20

Cleaning the church after known exposure to someone with Coronavirus symptoms

If possible close the church building for 72 hours with no access permitted.

 

 

 

If 72-hour quarantine is not possible then follow Public Health England guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings.

Public Health England guidance available here.

 

 

If the building has been quarantined for 72 hours, then carry out cleaning as per the normal advice on cleaning.

See the advice note on keeping church buildings clean.