Enter this Church Community Campaign competition to win £10,000 for your cause.
We are working with one of our main church insurers, Ansvar Insurance, to look for churches who have set up projects for the benefit of their local community. If you have got a project you want to talk about, tell them in up to 1,000 words and contact them before 5pm on May 31st 2016. This can be by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to Church Community Competition, Ansvar House, 31 St Leonards Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 3UR.
‘Having a broker who is also a Christian makes a difference. We understand each other’: Pastor Joseph Aderibigbe
The pastor of a church in Fife, Scotland, identifies the significance of what Access Insurance offers as a specialist church insurance broker. Not only do they bring the many benefits of being a broker but the added understanding of what churches are doing and why. Having someone fight your corner is always reassuring but even more so when coupled with genuine interest and understanding for your purpose.
Like most church leaders, Pastor Joseph Aderibigbe is constantly busy caring for his congregation and reaching out to his local community. By using a church insurance broker, he saves considerable time, avoiding the work of contacting different insurance companies to obtain quotes and negotiate prices. Pastor Joseph Aderibigbe confirms, ‘It takes a lot of work from us as we’re not experienced. Access has the experience’.
Whilst reviewing your insurance arrangements may seem onerous and time consuming, it is an opportunity to ensure your church is adequately protected, and that you are getting the best value for money. There are a few key steps that can help your church purchase the most appropriate and cost effective insurance policy:
Use a broker
An insurance broker should use their extensive market knowledge, contacts and access to a wide range of insurers to negotiate the best deal on your behalf. They also have more bargaining power than an independent church. This is particularly useful in the event of a claim. The broker gives neutral advice and support, and can use their experience to present your case to the insurers in the best possible way.
When was your Church Safeguarding policy last reviewed?
In a busy church life, it is easy to forget about the need to regularly review and update your Safeguarding policies. Circumstances can quickly change within a church, whether through new activities, meeting facilities or people for example, leaving some safeguarding issues unaddressed.
By keeping Child and Vulnerable Protection policies regularly updated, not only helps to protect these individuals and the staff and volunteers that work with them, it fulfils insurer requirements in respect of the churches duty of care.
Demonstrating love for no reason, with no agenda is rare in society. But that’s exactly what The City Church in Canterbury and Whitstable sought to do one summer weekend, to be a blessing to the local community.
Over two days, teams of hundreds of volunteers went out into Wincheap area of Canterbury in bright red ‘Love Canterbury’ T-shirts responding to appeals for help. While one team cleaned the streets of litter, the other team visited the homes of those wanting help with painting, gardening and rubbish clearing – acts of kindness. Along the way, others stepped in to help them. The local B&Q store donated supplies so that one elderly man could have his home painted.
It is vital to get specialist advice to ensure that you are fully protected for the spiritual and emotional advice you provide. Whilst liability insurance can be purchased through numerous suppliers, some insurance policies will not extend to include pastoral care.
Pastoral care would include befriending, encouraging, listening and supporting both the church congregation and members of the public. It is used to help individuals through any season in their lives but should not be confused with counselling.
Sometimes Health and Safety is seen as a taboo subject as the importance of it is not seen until there is an accident. It is important to have robust policies and procedures in place as the following details of one of our clients illustrates:
The problem started with a leak in the church roof. The church, a converted warehouse had damp patches on a suspended ceiling. After discussions between the Pastor and the Assistant Pastor, the Assistant Pastor went on the roof to identify the source. The leak was caused by deterioration of plastic around the screw heads holding the roof tiles in place. The Assistant Pastor climbed on the roof again a few weeks later to fix the leak. Whilst up there he stood on a skylight which he had thought to be just another roofing tile, the skylight gave way and he fell through the roof. He had no safety equipment and no risk assessment was performed for the job. He suffered a serious back injury and is now a paraplegic and dependent on a wheelchair.
Legal liability of Trustees, new legal entities and insurance
The role of a Trustee is vital to the ministry of any church. However, Trustees often do not appreciate the personal financial risk that they carry by taking on this area of responsibility. There have been some changes recently which limit the liability of trustees and directors and these finally became a reality with the introduction of the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in January 2013 after being introduced in the Charities Act of 2006. This 2006 Act, now replaced by the Charities Act 2011 also allows trustee indemnity insurance to be purchased by the charity, even if there is no power to do so in the governing document, providing it does not specifically prohibit the purchase.
Churches within the Newfrontiers family continue to be involved with social action ministry. One such church, New Life Church Milton Keynes, has recently formed a new charity in partnership with the YMCA and Milton Keynes Council that seeks to provide shelter for homeless people within the Milton Keynes area.
Milton Keynes Winter Night Shelter, as it is now known, approached Access Insurance to arrange the appropriate insurances for the project following the winter shelter article in our November 2012 e-newsletter.
The recent Newfrontiers Social Action Survey shows that many churches are involved in helping the homeless. If you are looking to run a Winter Shelter one of the first questions to ask yourself is ‘will our insurers allow us to cover Homeless Shelters on our existing insurance policy?’ Many insurers will agree to this request providing they have adequate information on the activities beforehand. To help you prepare for your homeless shelter, the main questions insurers will ask are: