CHURCHES have a duty to
take "reasonable action" to ensure that paths into church are
cleared of snow and well gritted to prevent employees and
parishioners from slips and falls, church insurers have warned.
Forecasts of widespread
snow and ice this week have prompted church insurers to remind
parishes of their responsibilities.
General said that churches needed to deal with snow and ice on
paths to ensure that staff and visitors are protected. In small
churches that are used only on Sundays, a one-metre-wide gritted
path is sufficient.
has also issued winter guidance on what reasonable action churches
It said: "It is not
necessary to ensure that each and every available path is
immediately cleared, as long as there is at least one safe route
available to access the building."
Churches are also advised
to check insulation on water pipes and tanks, and make sure that
external taps are turned off, and hoses disconnected, to avoid
They are also warned of the dangers of temporary
heaters. Liquid-petroleum-gas heaters can lead to rot in woodwork
because of the amount of water vapour given off, and portable
heaters should be placed well away from any combustible materials,
and not left unattended for hours.
For more advice, see www.congregational.co.uk, or www.ecclesiastical.com.