Covid-19 Risk Assessment & Safety Procedure

Covid-19 Risk Assessment & Safety Procedure

For meetings to be held at The Grafton Community Centre

Original: 23 Jul 2020

Premises:  Grafton Centre, Grafton Street, Hyde, Cheshire. SK14 2AX

Persons Covered:  Church Members, Adherents & Visitors

Tasks & Activities Covered: All church service activities and processes required to allow safe return of Church Members, Adherents and Visitors.

Name of person completing this risk assessment: Mr. William Lynch; Church Elder & Trustee

Date of Completion:  02 Sept.2020                           Date Reviewed: 4th January 2021

Risk Assessment Approved by: Church Members   (Telephone & vis a vis conversation at review)

Date of Approval: 26 Aug 20 and at subsequent reviews.


 The purpose of this Risk Assessment is: –

To seek to prevent the spread of COVID-19 / Coronavirus by reducing or controlling potential risks (as listed below)

  1. To promote the safety of individuals attending our Services
  1. To enable those attending to feel safe and confident with the arrangements
  1. To comply with UK Government guidelines for places of worship


Where the Government’s COVID-19 Guidance document for the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic states the term “must”. It shall be taken as legally binding upon us. Where the guidance uses the word “should”, it shall not be taken as legally binding upon us.
Please see the Government’s meaning of these two words as taken from the Guidance document below.

“Must” Where the guidance states that an activity must take place this is because it is a requirement under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, and therefore is a requirement in law.
“Should” Where the guidance states that an activity should take place this is not a legal requirement under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, however it is strongly advised that consideration is given to following the advice being given to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.


Worshippers coming into contact with Coronavirus Sufferers
 Persons are advised that they should not attend the Services if they are suffering from raised temperature, new persistent cough, loss of taste or smell or other respiratory infection or if they are contacts of anybody with Coronavirus. The Church Services will continue to be posted to the church website for those who are unwell, vulnerable or in a household that is self-isolating.

  • If you become unwell during the service, you are advised to go home as soon as possible.
  • Current Government guidelines state that people over the age of 70 and those who are shielding “should” continue to stay away from places of worship at the present time. They are encouraged to access services via the church website.
  • A list of persons attending worship will be kept (in line with GDPR principles) for 21 days as requested by the public health tracing service.
  • Congestion will be avoided in the foyer of the building. The door steward will direct each household to a seat. It may be necessary to wait in a socially distanced queue at the entrance of the building.
  • A one-way system will operate to maintain the required social distance.
  • The social distancing rule will be observed during the services wherever possible, and, in order to further mitigate risk seats will be arranged accordingly.
  • To enable optimum seat use, seats will be allocated at each service and it may be necessary to sit in a different place on each occasion. Households will be asked to sit together.

 To minimize the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus, the following measures will be in place:
Preparing the Building 

  • People preparing the building for the service will observe social distancing whilst doing so.
  • They will also be required to sanitise their hands and wear gloves to avoid contaminating chairs, etc.
  • Once finished, all handles will be cleaned with antiviral wipes.
  • Toilets will be cleaned with appropriate materials.
  • Signage giving Government guidance will be provided and displayed by TGC Staff.
  • Hand sanitiser points will be installed for use in the lobby on entrance from car park – and at exit doors.
  • Chairs will be placed in the hall at 1 metre plus distancing to provide seating for as many people as is safe. There will be single, pairs and family rows available. A clear aisle will be kept for safe exiting.
  • Surfaces used are to be wiped down with appropriate cleaning materials.

 Social distancing will be required at all times both outside and inside the building.

  • Children must remain with their family at all times.
  • In accordance with Government advice, the building will be kept well ventilated, with doors and windows open as appropriate.
  • Singing is not permitted according to Government guidance but a recording will be played and attendees may follow from the Psalm Books and/or Sheets provided.
  • Books/Sheets for Worship will be made available for visitors – these will be cleaned/disposed of safely and/or quarantined on completion of services.
  • A limited number of pew Bibles [AV] will also be available for visitors. Visitors should leave Bibles on their chairs on completion of the service. These will be cleaned and quarantined on completion of services.
  • Please take home with you anything you bring.
  • Government guidelines advise the wearing of face masks for adults, especially if social distancing is 1 metre plus.  This is a personal choice.  Face masks are available in case of unforseen need but visitors are expected to bring their own.
  •  Please note; Collections will not be taken during the ‘Offering’ section of the service though this part of the service will still held as usual.  Your offering should be placed in the box for that purpose near the entrance to the room, or paid direct to the bank by transfer, or as a last resort, handed to Mr William Lynch .
  • Any questions – Please see the Church Elder & Treasurer, Mr William Lynch. The church bank account details are –Lloyds Bank Account Number 47609268 and the Sort Code 30-94-70 

Car park

  • Normal use of the car parks is permitted. When leaving your car, please respect the special arrangement regarding the facility specifically for disability and also maintain appropriate social distancing.

Entering the Building 

  • All are asked to enter via the front door. If several households arrive at the same time, please maintain social distancing. If a queue forms your patience is appreciated to ensure everyone is kept as safe as possible.
  • Once in the lobby, worshippers will be required to use the hand sanitiser provided. Government guidance requires that a register [our visitors book] with contact details is kept for each service to aid the ‘Track and Trace’ service now enforced by law. Your co-operation with this would be appreciated.
  • Stewards will advise on seating. Your co-operation with the stewards’ directions is appreciated in order to accommodate as many people appropriately as possible.
  • Once seated it is requested that people stay in their seats for the whole service where possible. If you do need to go out with young children or to the toilet, please follow the guidance below. See also advice on emergency evacuation.

Use of Toilets 

  • Male & Female toilets are situated in the entrance lobby. Please wipe taps and handles after use with the wipes provided. Please take home any soiled nappies, etc. 

Exiting the Building 

  • Egress from the building will be via the entrance lobby. Please remember to maintain social distancing whilst exiting the building. This should be done as quickly as possible after the service.
  • You should hold any conversations outside the building, remembering to social distance at all times. 

Emergency Exit 

  • In the case of an emergency exit being necessary, please exit from the nearest accessible exit. Parents should assist their own children.


  • Additional routine cleaning procedures are being carried out by staff at the centre.
  • For church use – all surfaces in use, all door handles and taps etc will be cleaned with the appropriate cleaning materials prior to, and on completion of church services. 

Religious Freedom and Freedom of Conscience
The God given authority of the state (Romans 13:1-6) does not and cannot supersede the inerrant and infallible Commandments of the LORD. To contravene God’s Commandments would be sin and therefore make violable the Christian conscience.  Where the law of the United Kingdom is in direct opposition or contradiction to the Word of God and his Holy Law we, as Christian disciples, believe that it is our duty to obey the Will of God (Acts 5:9).
Thank you for your co-operation.  Stay alert, stay safe? [rather ‘Watch and Pray.’]
 This risk assessment has been approved by TFCC Members and authorised by:
William Lynch
Church Elder & Trustee
Tameside Free Congregational Church 
C/o – 5 Victoria Mews, Dukinfield, Tameside, Gtr Manchester SK16 4XU –   
This risk assessment will be next reviewed Week commencing  13 Dec 20 or sooner if required by law.