When it comes to planning church Christmas celebrations there is always plenty to think about – but even more so this year since we’re not yet out of the COVID woods!
So with only a few weeks to go until Christmas, now is the time to start preparing your church for any Christmas celebrations you are planning. Our guide below outlines some of the main considerations for this.
1. COVID restrictions
Currently in Victoria there are no limits on density or worship attendance where everyone present is fully vaccinated. However, if vaccination status is unknown or not being checked, attendance is restricted to one person per 4sqm up to a maximum of 50 people
It’s important to note that the rules are subject to change and differ between states and territories. You will need to check your state or territory authority for the latest information:
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- Northern Territory
2. Fire safety
Fires can be caused by what might seem to be fairly innocuous items like Christmas lights and candles.
For fire prevention, you should ensure that any Christmas lights installed are compliant with Australian standards and used according to instructions (such as not using indoor lights for outdoor purposes and so on).
If you wish to use candles, it’s far safer to use battery-operated ones or hand-held LED lights. That way you can get the atmospheric effect of candles without the fire risk.
3. Christmas tree safety
Christmas trees are sometimes prone to tipping over and causing injuries. If you do put up a Christmas tree, make sure it is fire-resistant and stable and does not cause any obstructions.
4. Child-safe online activities
With live-streaming and recordings happening in many churches, the safety of kids could be a concern. To manage the risks to kids you should ensure any images or film footage that could identify individual children is not shared online.
5. Live animals
Using live animals certainly adds a nice touch to a play or nativity scene, but it isn’t recommended as it comes with considerable risks.
If you are considering using live animals, you should discuss this with your insurer before going ahead.
6. Music copyright
Since most traditional Christmas carols and songs are in the public domain, they shouldn’t present an issue when it comes to copyright. However, if you are considering using other songs, including those that are more contemporary, you should check for copyright requirements. You can search online through APRA-AMCOS to find out whether a work is in the public domain or not.
One way to ensure you’re covered is by obtaining a church copyright licence from CCLI (Christian Copyright Licencing International). These can be purchased annually or for events – find out more here.
Make sure to update your insurance!
While the above measures are vital for keeping people and property as safe as possible, insurance cover provides financial protection in case things don’t go as planned.
At Faith Insurance we offer a range of covers for churches and not-for-profits. This includes property cover, church liability insurance, not for profit insurance, ministry insurance, events cover and more. Faith Insurance was created with the needs of the community in mind which puts us in a unique position to understand your church’s specific insurance needs. See links below to find out more.
Faith Insurance links
Our website also has an Events Form to assist you in identifying and assessing hazards related to events and creating a plan for controlling the risks. You can download the form from our forms page (scroll down to find it).
To get in touch with us directly call 13 000 FAITH or send an online message.
Written by Tess Oliver
Tags: church event safety