Events at St Matthew's

The following were agreed by St Matthew's PCC in July 2013, and revised in July 2014, November 2015, January 2016 and January 2017.
  1. The first point of contact for requests to use the church for events such as concerts and other public performances should be the Rector, who will ensure that the proposed event does not clash with any other planned activities and that it is otherwise suitable (see footnote). The Rector and the PCC are willing to entertain all requests for the use of St Matthew’s as a venue, but it is their anticipation that it shall be used for community and charitable events and not for commercial gain.
  2. Events should be encouraged provided that they are manageable and can be ‘staffed’ by someone (an ‘Event Manager’) who would take responsibility for making the church facilities available on the day and for any rehearsals. This means making sure that there is an Event Manager available before the booking is confirmed. For complex events an additional Deputy Event Manager is required. It is important to consider whether it is necessary that either the Event Manager or Deputy Event Manager need to have daytime availability.
  3. The Event Manager can be anyone prepared to take on the role for the particular event, provided that they are familiar with the operation of the facilities required (e.g. lighting, heating, sound system, unlocking/locking the church).
  4. The appointed Event Manager can then take over contact with the organisers from the Rector, liaising with the Rector as necessary.
  5. The church is available for non benefice affiliated groups for £40 per event plus the cost of electrical consumption as metered.
  6. Organisers are invited to book the church for any number of rehearsals, understanding that this is subject to the availability of the church and Event Manager. The only cost incurred by rehearsals is covering the electrical consumption as metered.
  7. It would be made clear to those who use the church for events that they are expected to leave it as they find it, i.e. move furniture back and clear up/clean up after themselves, and that they should seek permission from the Event Manager for any changes they wish to make to the normal church layout.
  8. As the church is not a licensed premise within the meaning of The Licensing Act 2003, amended by the Live Music Act 2012 and the Licensing Act 2003 (Descriptions of Entertainment) (Amendment) Order, alcoholic beverages cannot be sold - or donations asked for the offer of alcohol - on the premises, except where the event organiser has obtained a Temporary Event Notice after agreeing the proposed arrangements for serving and sale with the Event Manager. This does not apply if the alcohol is genuinely free, as for when mulled wine is served following a carol service.
  9. The organisers must carry out their own risk assessment for their use of the church prior to using it for rehearsal or performance. They must check with the Event Manager that this risk assessment takes account of particular issues of safety in the church, for example if the performance involves unusual aspects such as the use of naked flames or dry ice.
  10. St Matthew’s has an “Event Checklist” to help the organiser with the planning of their event. The Event Manager will work with the organiser to address any concerns arising from working through the list.
  11. The organisers will be responsible for all materials and stage sets associated with any event/concert/performance which are stored or used in St Matthew's Church. Liability for accident or damage caused by materials, stage sets, performers, or associated visitors to the church or a performance itself is entirely that of the organisers.
  12. If any part of the church fabric is to be used for attachment or load-bearing (other than normal use of the floors) the organisers must agree this with the Event Manager, who will if necessary seek advice from the Church Wardens or the Buildings Committee.
  13. Regarding potential theft, kindly note that the church will remain unlocked during the usual hours regardless of any concert/performance equipment left out. It is the responsibility of the concert organiser to check with the Event Manager whether the plans for the event, which includes “pre event” rehearsal and staging, need special insurances, additional cover or other special arrangements. It cannot not be assumed either that the Church insurance will cover the production’s particular intended use, the monetary value of equipment, or any risks inherent to the production.
  14. Organisers are responsible for the behaviour of their cast and crew at all times. Inappropriate or dangerous behaviour or wilful contravention of law may result in cancellation of the booking.In particular, the church reserves the right to cancel the event if the organisers of the event fail to confirm insurance-related arrangements with the Event Manager or fail to organise a license to sell alcohol if required.
Footnote: Canon F16(1)
“When any church or chapel is to be used for a play, concert, or exhibition of films or pictures, the minister shall take care that the words, music, and pictures are such as befit the House of God, are consonant with sound doctrine, and make for the edifying of the people.”