St Peter / Balsall Common

Our Social Media Policy

We do not have a formal policy for our social media channels, except that we observe our responsibilities to children and vulnerable adults as expressed in our safeguarding policy. However, we attempt to comply with the Church of England social media guidelines (click on the highlighted text to access these)

Policy on Video-recording

Additional protocol to the St Peter’s Policy on Data Protection.

Video Recording and Livestreaming of events in church.

It is a guiding principle of our Data Protection Policy that any data (including pictures) collected should fit with our policies of Safety, Safeguarding, and Mission – so that nobody should be harmed by our filming, or exposed to risk (such as by stalkers, or other forms of exploitation) and that its use should be related to our role in spreading the Gospel. Consequently, nobody should be identified by name without their explicit consent, and everyone should be given the opportunity to stay out of camera shot.

Under Data Protection legislation, ‘religion, faith or belief’ is a ‘protected characteristic’ and regarded as sensitive data. Pictures that suggest or indicate the faith or belief of an individual are therefore explicitly subject to GDPR regulation, although if these are for ‘private’ use within a group or for individual use, they are exempt. However, for the avoidance of uncertainty, St Peter’s Church will post notices informing those using the church that they may be recorded on video, and in some services, these are sent to the internet as a ‘live stream’. Anyone wishing to avoid inclusion should be informed where to sit (in the Baptistry, in general, or at the rear of the Hall for services held there), to avoid being accidentally shown ‘on camera’. When appropriate (eg during the giving of Communion) it might be desirable to direct the PTZ (‘streaming’) camera at another activity such as the piano or screen.

Our filming, and any other ‘data collection’, will only ever be used for sharing our worship, or when necessary, for security purposes, and similar legitimate uses. We shall never use them for commercial purposes, although we may accept donations from families when filming is arranged for weddings and funerals or similar family occasions, on the understanding that they accept that copies are only shared for personal use, and not for wider publication.

When videos are shared on our websites, or with others by sending a ‘link’ URL, we use Youtube’s ‘Unlisted’ setting, which means that they can only be seen by those with whom the link is explicitly shared. They cannot be found by ‘search’ strategies. Recordings of young people (only ever used by explicit permission of parents) are ‘de-linked’ after an agreed period, usually after 2 days.

Copy of notice:

Privacy Notice

We use our closed-circuit cameras to collect photographic images for Recording or “Live-streaming” services from our church in order to reach out to those who are unable to attend in person, or who wish to participate in our services remotely. Also sometimes we will be sharing the recorded or live-streamed services with the general public, by uploading it to social media and other internet sites. This means the pictures may be classed as a “special category” of information that indicates Religious belief. We do not identify individuals by name or other ‘personal data’ but you may wish to be aware that by entering our church when a service is ongoing or about to begin, your ‘data’ are being thus collected. If you object, please let one of our ‘Technical Team’ know that you wish to be excluded from recordings and they will advise you where to sit. By entering the church without this action, you are consenting to us using your data for the purposes set out above.

Note: Other images are also recorded by CCTV for security reasons and removed after a week – these data are exempt from Data Protection legislation.

St Peter’s Church

Balsall Common

Adopted by PCC: 28 Jan 2021.

Our Health & Safety Policy

(you can also find it as a 'word' file to download, here)

You can also read our Data Protection policy here >

Our Safeguarding (child protection) policies can be viewed here >

We also have advisors in place to assist with issues of domestic abuse and abuse of vulnerable adults.

St Peter’s Church 

Holly Lane

Balsall Common

West Midlands


Date July 27, 2017

Review date July 27, 2021

Note - there are some formatting errors in this document which are being corrected.

To all employees, voluntary helpers and contractors:
The success of this policy will depend on your co-operation. It is therefore important that you read this document and understand your role and the overall arrangements for health and safety.

This document has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the regulations made under it.

The policy is in three sections:

Section A– General statement of policy

Section B– Organisation and responsibilities

Section C– Arrangements


A General statement of policy

Our policy, so far as is reasonably practicable, is to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all our employees, casual labour and voluntary helpers, and to provide such information, training and supervision as they need for this purpose.

We will also endeavour to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all members of the congregation, contractors, visitors and others who may visit the church, churchyard and any associated buildings.
The allocation of duties for safety matters and the particular arrangements that we will make to implement the policy are set out below.

The policy will be kept up to date, particularly in the light of any changes to our buildings or activities. To ensure this, the policy and the way in which it has operated will be reviewed regularly and the appropriate changes made.

In order to ensure that health and safety matters are kept constantly under review, an item on health and safety will be on the agenda for all meetings of the Parochial Church Council, and sub-committees (where they exist) and employees and voluntary workers will be consulted on a regular basis in order to seek their views on health and safety matters.

B Organisation and responsibilities

  1. Responsibility of the Vicar

Overall responsibility for health and safety is that of the Vicar

the Revd Peter Thomas

who will ensure that arrangements are in place for the day-to-day implementation of the health and safety regulations and appropriate Codes of Practice. Specific responsibilities may be delegated to church personnel. As new projects emerge, the names of responsible persons will be notified.

  1. Responsibility of the Churchwardens

Responsibility to ensure that the arrangements outlined in this policy are carried out and updated as necessary is with the Churchwardens, as noted below:

Graham Underhill & Christine Hornsby

Responsibility of the Parochial Church Council

The Parochial Church Council has general responsibility to ensure that the health and safety policy is implemented.

  1. Responsibility of the Health and Safety

The following person carries the responsibility for the day-to-day implementation of the arrangements outlined in the policy.

Margaret Eyre

The responsibility of the health and safety officer shall be to:

  1. be familiar with health and safety regulations as far as they concern church premises
  2. be familiar with the health and safety policy and arrangements and ensure they are observed
  3. ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe systems of work are in place
  4. ensure the church and hall are clean and tidy
  5. ensure the churchyard is properly maintained including the safety of monuments, tombstones and trees, and that grass is kept cut
  6. ensure that safety equipment and clothing is provided and used by all personnel where this is required
  7. ensure that all plant, equipment and tools are properly maintained and in good condition and that all operators have received the appropriate training
  8. ensure that adequate access and egress is maintain
  9. ensure adequate firefighting equipment is available and maintained
  10. ensure that food hygiene regulations and procedures are observed.
  1. Responsibility of employees and voluntary workers

All employees and voluntary workers have a responsibility to co-operate in the implementation of this health and safety policy and to take reasonable care of themselves and others whilst on church business or premises.

Employees and voluntary workers must therefore:

  1. comply with safety rules, operating instructions and working procedures
  2. use protective clothing and equipment when it is required
  3. report any fault or defect in equipment immediately to the appropriate person
  4. report all accidents (however minor), injuries, near misses or other potential safety hazards as soon as possible
  5. not misuse anything provided in the interests of health and safety.

  1. Responsible persons

The following are responsible for safety

These lists are not exhaustive

By activity
Accident book/Accident reporting (1) Emergency evacuation (2.4) Health and safety training
Condition of churchyard (7.2)

Contractors (17)

Margaret Eyre (H&S officer) Church Wardens

Church Wardens / Margaret Eyre (H&S officer)

Stuart Lee

Peter Thomas (vicar)

By area

Main body of church
Clergy & Choir vestries


Kitchens & Church hall

Hall Grounds

Church Wardens (all areas)

Guy Hawes

Stephen Hughes (signage)

Mark & Moira Johnson

Stuart Lee

C Arrangements (implementation of the policy)

This section sets out our arrangements to minimise as far as is reasonably practicable risks to the health and safety of employees voluntary workers, members of the congregation, visitors and contractors.

  1. Accidents and first aid

First aid boxes are located in:

  • The Church - in the kitchenette
  • Church hall – in the kitchen

Trained/qualified first aiders are:

  • Margaret Eyre
  • Moira Johnson
  • Sandra Thomas

Accident books are located next to the First Aid boxes

All accidents and incidents are entered on an Accident report form and our insurers advised as appropriate.

When the church or church hall is let to outside organisations, they are told in writing that in the event of an accident, details must be entered in the accident book.

Accident books and accident records are regularly reviewed.
These accidents will be reported by the responsible person at all PCC meetings.

  1. Fire safety

Our policy is to fulfil our obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. 2005. In order to achieve this, we undertake the following:

  • an assessment of the fire risks in the church and associated buildings and the risks to our neighbours. This is carried out either as a specific exercise or as part of our general health and safety risk assessments
  • a check that a fire can be detected in a reasonable time and that people can be warned
  • a check that people who may be in the building can get out safely including, if necessary, the provision of emergency lighting and fire exit signage
  • to provide reasonable firefighting equipment
  • a check that those in the building know what to do if there is a fire

A regular check that our firefighting equipment is in place and is serviceable and that there is an annual maintenance contract in place with a reputable company.

    1. Fire extinguishers are kept in the following location


Type of extinguisher and capacity
Church porchWater9L
Church vestryWater9L
Sacristy C023Kg
Church hall- entranceWater9L
Church hall- main room Water9L
Church hall- kitchenPowder2Kg
Fire blanket
Church hall- stageC022Kg
Church hall- back door Water9L

The extinguishers noted are checked every month by the responsible person to ensure that they are still in place.

The extinguishers noted above are checked annually by Fixfire

    1. Evacuation procedure

For large events, our procedures for evacuation are as follows:

  • All designated fire doors must be unlocked before the service/event commences and will be clearly marked as fire exits using the ‘Running Man’ symbol
  • A check must be made that all doors can be opened
  • A trained steward must be allotted to each door and have responsibility for persons in a specific part of the church/church hall
  • Responsibility for using each fire extinguisher will be allotted to named and trained stewards
  • If emergency lighting is not available, torches must be available for each steward
  • In the event of an emergency (fire/bomb) an announcement to leave the building will be made by the churchwarden/vicar or other senior team member present at the time.
  • Persons will assemble in the car park
  • The emergency services will be contacted immediately by a mobile phone (normally, one held by the churchwarden/vicar/ senior team member)
  • Or if there is no mobile telephone or no reception the telephone located in the vicarage or a neighbouring dwelling will be used
    1. Evacuation drills

Fire evacuation drills will be carried out annually. All employees and voluntary workers should ensure they are familiar with escape routes and ensure these are kept clear and unobstructed.

    1. If you discover a fire (no matter how small)

  • Immediately raise the alarm
  • Telephone the emergency services
  • Check the building for occupants
  • Attack the fire if possible and within your capability, using the appliances provided, but without taking personal risk
  • If not possible to attack the fire or if you are unsure which extinguisher to use, assist in the evacuation of the building, ensuring that all doors are closed behind you. The general rule is people before property.
  • Evacuate to the designated assembly point
  • Ensure clear access for the emergency vehicles

  1. Electrical safety
  • A list of all our portable electrical appliances is maintained by the responsible person
  • Every quarter plugs, cables and sockets will be inspected by the responsible person to ensure that there are no loose connections, worn flexes or trailing leads. Any repairs needed will be reported to the church wardens for action
  • Every year all our portable electrical equipment with be tested by a person with an appropriate level of electrical knowledge and experience who has the correct equipment to complete the tests, knows how to use it and can correctly interpret the results. Any unsafe equipment will be safely disposed of.
  • Every quarter a visual inspection of our fixed electrical installation will be carried out by the responsible person. Any defects will be reported to the church wardens for action.
  • Every five years our fixed electrical system will be inspected and tested by a competent contractor who is a ‘Full Scope’ member of the NICEIC, ECA or NAPIT. Any necessary remedial work will be carried out.
  • At intervals of not more than two and a half years our lightning conductor system will be examined and tested by a competent and specialist firm of lightning engineers.
  • It is our policy not to sell any second-hand electrical goods unless they have been examined and tested by a competent qualified person.
  • Misuse and abuse of electricity is a significant cause of fires and injury. Faulty electrical equipment can kill. All employees and voluntary workers must observe the following: (i) Visually check all electrical equipment before use (ii) Report all faults immediately to the responsible person

(iii) Do not attempt to use or repair faulty equipment be reported to the responsible person

(iv) No electrical equipment is to be brought onto the premises and used until it has been tested by the approved person (v) Electrical equipment should be switched off and disconnected when not in use for long periods 

(vi) Flexible cables should be positioned and protected so that they do not constitute a tripping hazard and are not subject to mechanical damage.

  1. Gas equipment safety

Our gas boiler is maintained and checked annually by a competent contractor who is registered with the Gas Safe Register. Any necessary work required for safety is implemented immediately.

  1. Hazardous substances

    The responsible person will maintain a list of all hazardous substances used in the church/hall. Where possible, we have eliminated the use of hazardous substances. Where this is not possible, our safety arrangements are as follows:

For all hazardous substances, which include substances marked as ‘harmful, irritant, corrosive, toxic, very toxic, flammable, highly flammable, extremely flammable, explosive, or ‘dangerous for the environment’ data sheets or product information provided by the manufacturers are used to determine the correct method of use, protective clothing needed, method of storage, and action to take in the event of an accident.

Do not mix chemicals

Do not store chemicals in unmarked containers.

  1. Safety of plant and machinery

The responsible person will maintain a list of all items of plant and machinery. The procedures for checking and rules for use are as follows:

  • Employees and voluntary workers must not operate plant or machinery that they are not trained and authorised to use
  • Employees and voluntary workers must not ride on any parts of machinery not, intended for that use
  • Machinery must be switched off before any adjustments are made
  • After carrying out maintenance and adjustments all guards must be replaced before the machinery is used
  • Before using any item of plant or ensure machinery, a check must be made to ensure it is in a safe working condition, correctly adjusted, and there are no loose nuts, bolts or other defects
  • The appropriate personal protective personal protective equipment must be worn.
  • Persons under the age of 18 may use hand tools only and are not permitted to operate any power driven item of plant or machinery
  • Ladders may only be used when other equipment such as tower scaffolds or mobile elevated work platforms cannot be used and for work of short duration provided they can be safely secured. This may necessitate the use of ladder ties. Any defect and damage found to any item of plant or machinery must be reported to the responsible person
  • All plant and machinery will be regularly maintained and a schedule kept of maintenance requirements.
  • Persons must not work on their own unless they have a means of communication and have notified a colleague of the details of the work being undertaken and agreed procedure to ensure their safety is checked on

  1. Slips, trips and falls – condition of floors, steps and paths

In order to reduce as far as is reasonably practicable the risk of slips, trips and falls, 
an inspection will be made every month by the responsible person of

  • all floors and stairs in the church and hall, and
  • all paths and steps in the churchyard.
    Particular note will be made of moss, algae and leaves on paths. Any defects
    will be reported to the church wardens who will arrange for repairs or remedial
    measures to be carried out.
  1. Lighting In order to ensure that the church is adequately lit, an inspection will be made every month by the responsible person to ensure that all lights in the church, hall and churchyard are working. Any bulbs that require replacing will be reported to the church wardens who will ensure that the bulbs are replaced following appropriate safety procedures.

  1. Working at high levels
    Anyone working at height, for example when replacing light bulbs, MUST follow the guidelines issued by the HSE (INDG401(rev2) a copy of which is at the back of this policy folder.

  1. Preparation of food
  • Food should only be prepared in the kitchen and by individuals who have received the appropriate training
  • We ensure that we follow the appropriate regulations governing the preparation and storage of foodstuffs
  • We ensure that all food handlers have received adequate supervision, instruction and training
  • We ensure that the appropriate assessment of risks is carried out for the foods to be prepared and stored including storage at the correct temperatures
  • Before any preparation commences, all surfaces coming into contact with food must be washed down and disinfected
  • Food stuffs may only be prepared in the following areas: kitchens
  • Only the following persons who have received the appropriate training may prepare and serve foodstuffs unless supervised by someone who has received the appropriate training.
  • We ensure that all hirers who wish to provide foodstuffs are advised of the facilities and procedures.

  1. Manual handling – lifting carrying and moving loads
  • Our policy is to eliminate the need for manual handling as far as is reasonably practicable
  • Where it is not possible to avoid the need to move loads, we will carry out risk assessments and make use of repairs can be carried out lifting aids, including trolleys, lifts and hoists as far as possible
  • The necessary training will be given to all those employees and voluntary workers who are required to undertake manual handling
  • Only those persons who have received the appropriate training are authorised to undertake manual handling tasks

  1. Hazardous glazing

A check is made of all glazing in the buildings to ensure that any glass in windows below waist height and in doors and beside doors below shoulder height is of a safety material or is protected against breakage

  1. Child protection and protection of vulnerable adults

A statement upholding our procedures will be made at each annual church meeting and be suitably recorded.

A permanent record will be maintained of all accidents involving children and vulnerable adults.

  1. Personal safety

    All individuals working alone should follow the guidelines issued by the HSE – ING73 (rev3), a copy of which is given to all employees and volunteers who have the potential of lone working.

  2. Risk assessments/activities

Risk assessments will be carried out on all areas of the church premises and all activities that carry a significant risk at regular intervals by a competent person in order to meet our obligations under The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

  1. Contractors

Anyone entering the church premises for the purposes of carrying out work, other than an employee or voluntary worker of the church, will be regarded as a contractor. All contractors, including the self-employed, must abide by the following:

  • have their own health and safety policy (where required by law) and be able to provide a copy of the same
  • produce evidence that they have appropriate Public and Employers’ Liability insurance in place. A record of this evidence will be maintained
  • comply with all the requirements of this health and safety policy and co-operate with the church officials in providing a safe place of work and a safe system of operation
  • where plant and machinery is brought onto the church premises by contractors,
    they must be able to show where necessary that the equipment has been inspected and tested to ensure its safe operation
  • contractors may only use sub-contractors or persons other than their own direct employees with the express permission of the church officials. However, responsibility will remain with the contractors
  • all contractors will be given detailed instructions regarding the areas where theyare permitted to work and the extent of the work they are authorised to undertake. This ‘permit to work’ will also specify any safety precautions they must undertake.


Policy Introduction 3Our Health and Safety Policy 4Section A– General statement of policy 5Section B– Organisation and responsibilities 6Section C– Arrangements (implementation of the policy) 10– Accidents and first aid 10– Fire safety 11– Electrical safety 13– Gas equipment safety 14– Hazardous substances 14– Safety of plant and machinery14– Slips, trips and falls 15– Lighting 16– Working at high levels 16– Preparation of food 16– Manual handling – lifting, carrying and moving loads 16– Display screen equipment17– Hazardous buildings/glazing 17– Child protection 17– Personal safety 17– Risk assessments/activities 18– Contractors 18– Information and enforcement 19– Health and Safety law poster 19