Risk assessment for the re-opening of St Thomas's Church on Aug 30th 2020
Philip Miller/ Sue Morgan/Jackie Broxton JB
(other people referred to - GD Glynis Duffy, SK Simon King, JP John Pye, RJ Rachel Judge, ND Nikki Dennis, SD Simon Dennis)
4.8. 2020; additions 7/8/20 Review date:
Area of Focus Controls required Additional information Action by whom? Completed – date and name
Access to church buildings for clergy for purposes of private prayer
General advice on accessing church buildings can be found here.
One point of entry to the church building clearly identified and separate from public entry if possible Only one door for entrance and exit - main door. This door to be clearly marked . GD supply notice;
JB to affix JB to fix notice to door by 29/8/20
A suitable lone working policy has been consulted if relevant. An example can be found here.
Policy long established - anyone working in church has to notify AN Other, have a key to lock themselves in and possess a mobile phone.
ALL LONE WORKING TO BE AVOIDED IF POSSIBLE No action needed Policy already in place - DCC responsibility
Buildings have been aired before use. No opening windows in church, so main door to be left open for 30-60 mins before and after service. JB Ongoing weekly by JB
Check for animal waste and general cleanliness. Church, toilet, prayer room and kitchen check weekly SK Ongoing weekly by SK - from 29/8/20
Ensure water systems are flushed through before use.
See Government Guidance for organisations on supplying safe water supplies
Taps in kitchen and toilet turned on weekly and run for 5 minutes SK Ongoing weekly by SK - from 29/8/20
Switch on and check electrical and heating systems if needed. Commission system checks as necessary. Weekly checks of heating system to keep building aired. Also lights JB Ongoing weekly checks by JB from 29/8/20
Holy water stoups and the font are empty. N/A - -
Ensure safe use of equipment needed for livestreaming: avoid exceeding safe load on sockets, cables/tripod causing trip hazard Safety checked by GD over the last 2 months of pre recorded worship – once every 3 weeks at St Thomas’. N/A once live worship recommences GD - but livestreaming not currently undertaken Completed 3 weekly by GD if livestreaming starts
Deciding whether to open to the public Discuss with nearby venues and businesses to ensure that the timing and practical arrangements for using the church are compatible. No nearby venues affected No action needed No action needed
Update your website, A Church Near You, and any relevant social media. ACNY - PHM to action
Parish Facebook to be updated by GD PHM
(JP?) Completion after PCC approval; by PHM GD (JP?)
Consider if a booking system is needed, whether for general access or for specific events/services To be resolved by next PCC
DH to operate bookings?
Seats limited to 15
Worshippers instructed to wear face mask – DH to explain and instruct people not to arrive early.
Track and trace forms need to be filled in on arrival JB to check with DH about her willingness to run booking system Completion after PCC approval.
GD to supply Track/trace template
If opening to tourists consider applying for the Visit Britain ‘Good to Go’ standard mark Apply here.
N/A - -
Preparation of the Church for access by members of the public for any permitted purposes, including worship and tourism Confirm that all steps (above) for access by clergy have been carried out before anyone else accesses the building. Clergy already have access PHM SM Clergy have access since June 1st
Review CofE guide on cleaning church buildings. Complete the ‘cleaning’ section of this risk assessment (below). Advice on cleaning church buildings can be found here.
Deep clean of church, kitchen and toilet before re-opening. Also needed if someone attends who subsequently has the virus. JB RJ ND
(to wear PPE if deep cleaning after infected person has attended) To be completed by JB RJ & ND after PCC approval of risk assessment
Choose one point of entry into the church to manage flow of people and indicate this with notices, keeping emergency exits available at all times. Where possible use a different exit. Main church door - entrance
Arrows on floor to show direction of flow
Exit through same door in carefully phased way after Holy Communion (because fire door is judged to be unsafe to access except in an emergency) Entrance and exit door to be clearly marked and direction of flow outlined with arrows on floor. Emergency Exit notice above kitchen door. JB GD JB SK
After PCC approval
Make any temporary arrangements for people to wait or queue outside the building (taking into account any consequential risks arising from people gathering outside). 2m markings on floor outside entrance to keep safe distance before admission JB SK JB SK
After PCC approval
Where possible, doors and windows should be opened temporarily to improve ventilation. Entrance and exit door to be opened before and after services JB SK JB SK as church re-opens
Remove Bibles/literature/hymn books/leaflets Everything removed SD to put service on overhead, or on separate service sheets. SD
To be completed as church re-opens
Cordon off or remove from public access any devotional objects or items (if they are liable to be touched or closely breathed on) Prayer room out of bounds. All other items removed from main church and lectern and organ set to sides of church. Notice needed for Prayer room door - ND JB to affix notice to prayer room door 18/7/20
Consider if pew cushions/kneelers need to be removed as per government guidance All removed. JB -
Remove or isolate children’s resources and play areas To be removed to Prayer Room (out of bounds) JB JB
Walk through the church to plan for physical distancing in seats, aisles, at the altar rail, including safe flow of visitors. Remember 2m in all directions from each person (or 1m with risk mitigation if absolutely necessary). Labels on back of seats to be used
To create safe distancing,
many chairs have been moved, to widen the aisle and create space between rows, and the childrens’ area taken out
Priest to lead ALL the service from behind Communion rail for safety purposes
JB PHM SM GD To be finalised before PCC approval to re-open
Clearly mark out seating areas including exclusion zones to maintain distancing. Need labels in main church, and clear exclusion areas in kitchen to be marked to access the toilet GD to source labels JB SK to affix labels to seats after PCC approval to open
Clearly mark out flow of movement for people entering and leaving the building to maintain physical distancing requirements. See above.
Limit of 15 worshippers including clergy at any one service See above
GD to source seat 'ticks' See above
Limit access to places were the public does not need go, maybe with a temporary cordon in needed. Kitchen to be passed through only - en route to back door or toilet
Prayer room also out of bounds Labels needed
- GD JB SK after PCC approval to re-open
Determine placement of hand sanitisers available for visitors to use. Need 2 sanitisers at the back of church and one by the altar and another in the toilet area Sanitisers in situ JB SK In situ by 29/8/20
Determine if temporary changes are needed to the building to facilitate social distancing Consult advice on gaining temporary permissions.
Not needed - -
Put up notices to remind visitors about important safe practices e.g. no physical contact, practice hand washing etc. Clear instruction by celebrant about
- not moving about
- not shaking hands
- when to sit/stand
- HC to be given by priest to each person standing in their seat; care to be taken so that physical touching is avoided
- departure immediately after concluding rites (no coffee)
- orderly departure, back row first, through main door Instruction delivered by celebrant To be given out verbally at start of each service from 30/8/20
Ensure high-risk surfaces and touch points have been wiped with appropriate sanitiser spray or disposable wipes This to be done before and after each service JB + SK JB SK before/after each service from 30/8/20
Check that handwashing facilities have adequate soap provision and paper towels, and a bin for the paper towels. Need notices for the toilet re: need for individuals to wash hands and sanitise surfaces GD to source JB SK to fix by 29/8/20
Where there are toilet facilities, ensure an adequate supply of soap and disposable hand towels, and a bin for towels, are available. See above JB SK JB SK 29/8/20
Ensure all waste receptacles have disposable liners (e.g. polythene bin bags) to reduce the risk to those responsible for removing them. Fresh liners to be made available JB JB 29/8/20
If possible, provide safe means for worshippers and visitors to record their name and contact details; retain each day’s record for 21 days DH to design a record keeping system in line with GDPR
GD to provide track/trace template which must be used and kept by DH
Good supplies needed JB+ DH All paperwork to be ready for opening on 30/8/20
Give due notice of the resumption of use of the building to neighbours, congregation and wider community, ensuring that visitors and worshippers will know what to expect when they come. Notice board to be updated for the wider community. JB to check with local CPO. JB Notice in place by 29/8/20
Cleaning the church before and after general use (no known exposure to anyone with Coronavirus symptoms)
Advice on cleaning church buildings can be found here.
If the church building has been closed for 72 hours between periods of being open then there is no need for extra cleaning to remove the virus from surfaces. Church will have been closed for more than 72 hours - -
If 72-hour closure is not possible then check all cleaners are not in a vulnerable group or self-isolating. n/a - -
Set up a cleaning rota to cover your opening arrangements. Volunteers to be recruited for rota JB Rota in place by 29/8/20
All cleaners provided with gloves (ideally disposable). Available JB Available from 1/8/20
Suitable cleaning materials provided, depending on materials and if historic surfaces are to be cleaned. Cloths, sanitiser JB Available from 1/8/20
Confirm person responsible for removing potentially contaminated waste (e.g. hand towels) from the site. Gloves and bags to be available JB+SK Weekly JB SK
Confirm the frequency for removing potentially contaminated waste (e.g. hand towels) from the site – suggested daily removal. Weekly after Sunday service JB+SK Weekly JB SK
Cleaning the church after known exposure to someone with Coronavirus symptoms If possible close the church building for 72 hours with no access permitted. Preferred option after a contamination DH notified by attendee of infection - to inform JB or SK immediately who will inform PHM SM With immediate effect on receipt of information
If 72-hour closure 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. Advice on cleaning church buildings can be found here.
Deep cleaners must have PPE Deep clean after 72 hours JB RJ ND AFTER 72 hrs elapsed