Terms and Conditions of Hire

Terms & Conditions of Hire

Last updated October 2020

In these terms and conditions, the terms “Users” and “You” refer to the individuals, groups or organisations who make use of the church premises for meetings or other activities. “The church premises” refers to the buildings known as Buxton Methodist Church, off The Market Place in Buxton. “The Methodist Church” means the Methodist Church in Great Britain and “The church” and “The Church Council” refers to the Church Council of Buxton Methodist Church, the members of which are the managing trustees of the premises.

Your use of the church premises is subject to the constraints of English Law, to the general requirements of The Methodist Church, and to the conditions imposed by the Church Council as managing trustees.

All users of the church premises must read the following terms and conditions and sign a declaration stating they agree to abide by them.

You are expected to take all reasonable precautions to ensure the security of the building and its contents.
Valuables – You should take note, and warn all other users, that money and valuables should never be left unattended in any part of the building.
Keys – Key-holders are expected to keep their key(s) safely. They should only be lent to authorised persons and additional copies should not be cut. If additional or replacement keys are required these should be requested from the church officers.

You are expected to report all damage, defects or accidents occurring on the premises. There are accident record forms adjacent to the emergency telephone and you are required to report all injuries to people by an entry on the form (copy to be lodged with the Church Office). If you discover a situation which you feel could cause an accident this should be reported, immediately, to one of the church officers. Circumstances which make the premises less pleasant or convenient than is desirable should be similarly reported. If there is anything which you can do to prevent an accident you are expected to take action to do so.
Cost of breakage – You are expected to report any damage or breakage, resulting from your use of the premises, and to pay the cost of repair or replacement.

The individual/organisation making the hire agreement confirms they have received a copy of the Safeguarding Policy, has an understanding of it, and undertakes to follow it or comparable equivalent guidelines and procedures for the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults in or at the Building.
Click to view the Safeguarding Policy
NB Whether or not your organisation brings children and/or vulnerable adults onto the premises the Church Council expect you will follow good safeguarding practice as others may be sharing the premises during your hire.

4. RISK ASSESSMENT including Covid-19
In compliance with legislation and Methodist Church insurance, hirers are responsible for doing a risk assessment of their use of the hired accommodation and to keep a written copy of the findings. Should you find hazards arising from our premises, please notify us so that action can be taken. Click the links to see our Fire Safety Risk Assessment and Risk Assessment for Building Users. Our Covid-19 guidance can be seen here.

All users of the premises are expected to be familiar with current Health and Safety Law and latest government Covid-19 guidance, to take all reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable risks and to be vigilant in looking out for hazards.
Public safety – You are expected to avoid leaving any of the following in areas where the public may have access:
obstructions over which a person might trip; any item with sharp edges;
objects which might fall from a height; substances known to be hazardous to health;
and hand or power tools of any type.
Priority in emergencies – The church puts the safety of any occupants of the premises much higher than the protection of property. Evacuation should be the first priority in any emergency and the second should be to call the Emergency Services. No one should take risks fighting fires and extinguishers are provided only for use on really small fires.
Emergency Exits – While the building is occupied by groups of people there must be proper provision for them to get out in an emergency. To this end, the door by which they entered must be left unlocked throughout the period of occupation.
There are additional emergency exits on the Fountain Street side of the building, all of which may be opened by pushing the “Fire bar”. If you are a key-holder who is locking up, you are expected to see that these doors have not been left unsecured.
It is also important that all corridors staircases and doorways are kept free of obstruction. Furniture, including sales stalls, rubbish or decorative items, such as Christmas Trees, must not be placed in corridors or in front of doorways.
Fire separation doors – The doors between sections of the building, such as the double doors to the hall and lower corridor, are there to prevent the spread of fire. They should only be propped open when people are going through them. Please ensure that these are closed when you leave the premises.

Great care must be taken when using electrical equipment on the premises. Permission should be sought before connecting any high power equipment, such as power tools, heaters, cookers and lighting equipment. Low power equipment, such as computers, video projectors and audio equipment may be connected, subject to you taking full responsibility not only for the equipment (and any direct risk from fire or electric shock) but for any consequential effect that the connection of such equipment may have on the electrical installation in the building. The safety of all such equipment is your responsibility and we recommend that all appliances are regularly tested by a qualified electrician, in accordance with the Portable Appliance Testing Regulations. Specifically, coiled extension leads, worn flexes and items with guards that do not meet current British Standards are not acceptable.

Inflammable, volatile and toxic substances should not be brought onto the premises without prior permission of a church officer.

Because of the risk of vermin, all foodstuffs must be stored in closed tins or jars, labelled with the owner’s name. Any spillage of food or beverages must be cleaned up before leaving the premises.

You are expected to ensure that the premises, including the toilets, are left in a condition which will be acceptable to the next users. Rubbish should not be left on the kitchen floor. If you have too much to go in the bag provided, it should be taken away for disposal elsewhere. Any spillage or mess should be cleaned up. If you or your organization sets up furniture for your use it must be replaced as you found it unless you are instructed to the contrary. Please switch off the room lights and close the door when leaving.

The kitchen is a protected area for preparing food only. You may use it to prepare beverages and food by arrangement at the time of booking. Every effort should be made to avoid contamination of the work-tops by not placing large cartons, shopping bags, handbags or garments on them and by use of the sanitizing spray when appropriate. Further guidance will be provided on request. Drinks can also be prepared in the facilities in the Upper Room and Lower Meeting Room by prior arrangement. You are expected to provide your own fairly traded coffee, tea, milk etc and to wash up afterwards, bringing your own drying up cloths.

Smoking is not permitted on the premises. This includes E -Cigarettes

It is a strict rule of the Methodist Church that no alcoholic drinks may be brought onto the premises.

In general The Methodist Church is opposed to gambling. You should not sell raffle tickets or operate a Tombola on the church premises unless you have obtained express permission to do so, for each occasion.

You are reminded that certain essential church functions have to take precedence over other activities. Special services, such as funerals, may be arranged at short notice. Sunday has a special significance and you are asked to consult the officers of the church before arranging any events or activities on that day.

The Church Council does not allow these on the premises

Within such a large building it is quite likely that other users may be sharing the premises with you and your organisation. Please observe reasonable courtesy so as to avoid spoiling their activity.

You may only store items on the premises if space has been specifically allocated to you. Unauthorised items will be removed without warning. It is the policy of the church not to store unsold items from one sale to the next.

No posters or other material may be left on display on the church premises without permission of a church officer. Offending material will be removed without consultation. Temporary displays and signs, used immediately before and during an event, should be secured to appropriate display boards. You must not use Blue-Tac, Sellotape or pins on interior paint-work or pins in exterior woodwork.

If you use the premises on a regular basis – ie more than 3 occasions during the year – you are required by The Methodist Church to have your own Public Liability Insurance. Evidence of insurance will be requested when new bookings are being set up. You are also advised to consider having your own insurance to protect your members and property.

If you need to cancel a booking this must be given in WRITING at least two weeks before the booked date(s). Cancellations of less than two weeks’ notice will incur a charge: 1-2 weeks’ notice – 50% of the agreed booking fees; less than one week – full fees.