ACC COVID-19 Risk Assessment issue 3 (9 Oct 2020) Page 1 of 10
Ashford Community Church
9 Oct 2020 (review 28 Oct 2020) COVID-19 Risk Assessment Ref. Covid-19 issue 3 (9 Oct 2020)
Assessment carried out by: Description of Activity:
ACC Coronavirus Strategy Group. Use of Church buildings for group meetings
The Objective and Scope:
To assess the risk posed by COVID-19 and propose ways of minimising the risk. This risk assessment applies to all proposed uses of the church buildings,
including individual prayer, meeting for worship and use by third party groups.
The Hazard:
The hazard is COVID-19 Infection, which causes a respiratory illness for which there is no cure at the moment. It can be fatal. There is an increased risk of
severe disease for those over 70 years old, those seriously overweight, those with underlying medical conditions and those who are pregnant. (p12)
The Risk:
Use of the church premises, at this stage of the Coronavirus pandemic, must be considered a High-Risk activity. Although the ‘probability’ can be reduced
by the precautions outlined below, the ‘risk level’ remains high because the ‘severity’ is high. (see risk matrix chart).
Reasoning and guidance behind the control methods:
Is an airborne virus with a two-week asymptomatic incubation period which spreads by breathing in air containing virus particles.
So, Social Distancing
Wear Face Covering unless exempt
No Singing unless guidance permits
Can be transferred by touching infected surfaces (Virus can live on Surfaces for at least 24hrs – GOV.UK)
So, Hand Washing/Sanitising
Reduce surfaces that can be touched
Disinfect surfaces before and after use of building
Red page references are from
Blue page references are from
decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings (This document concerns decontamination after exposure to known cases of the virus, so gives the most
effective cleaning methods).
Current church guidance is
Note that the church is now legally responsible for operating in a Covid-secure manner and for ensuring that guidelines and laws,
including “social distancing”, “face coverings” and “Rule of 6”, are followed by everyone who is on the church premises, both
indoors and outdoors.
ACC COVID-19 Risk Assessment issue 3 (9 Oct 2020) Page 2 of 10
No. Control
Action How? Who? Equipment Done
1.1 Exclusion of
Prohibit entry of anyone with
symptoms or suspected
Website; noticeboard; letter/email to
church members.
1.2 Exclusion of
Prohibit entry of anyone who is
self-isolating due to contact
with possible case.
Website; noticeboard; letter/email to
church members.
2.1 Protection of ‘at
risk’ people
Strongly encourage ‘at risk’
groups not to attend (p12/13)
Website; noticeboard; letter/email to
church members;
reinforce verbally from the front.
3.1 Notification Support government tracing of
contacts of identified cases
(“Track & trace”)
As per government guidance, the church
will keep an accurate temporary record
of attendees. This will be a written list on
paper, giving name and means of
contact, that will be destroyed after 21
3.2 Notification Encourage use of NHS Test &
Trace app
a) Obtain and display NHS Test & Trace
QR code poster.
b) Welcomer to encourage app users to
scan the QR code when they enter
Get poster
4.1 Prevention Limit number of people in
building at any one time.
Set appropriate limit for each activity and
prohibit entry of more people than this
4.2 Prevention Reduce area of building
exposed to risk.
Restrict access to non-essential areas.
(p6) Lock off un-needed rooms,
cupboards etc
ACC COVID-19 Risk Assessment issue 3 (9 Oct 2020) Page 3 of 10
No. Control
Action How? Who? Equipment Done
4.3 Prevention Maintain Social Distancing
(keeping recommended
distance apart) (p6)
Guidance is 2 metres if viable, or
1 metre with risk mitigation if 2m
not viable. ACC will operate with
2m distancing.
a) Notices & floor markings in frequently
used areas.
b) Spaced seating.
c) One-way system through church with
separate entry and exits.
Service team
outside controls
queueing at
Signs, floor
4.4 Prevention Prevent forced ventilation
(except air extraction).
a) Turn off all fan heaters, hand driers
etc that force recirculating spread of air
and potential contamination.
b) But keep toilet extractor fans on as
normal to extract air to outdoors.
Service team
4.5 Prevention Improve natural ventilation (p7) When weather permits, keep doors and
windows open where possible to
increase dilution of potential
Service team Wedges
ACC COVID-19 Risk Assessment issue 3 (9 Oct 2020) Page 4 of 10
No. Control
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4.6 Prevention Reduce risk from toilets a) Prohibit all use of toilets if this is
compatible with the activity. (No toilets
during individual prayer times).
b) When activity requires use of toilet,
use only disabled toilet and lock off small
unisex toilets. (Disabled toilet open for
use during Sunday service times).
c) Turn off hand drier and fan heater.
d) Keep extractor fan on as normal
(linked to light).
e) Provide liquid soap dispensers (not
bars of soap)
f) Provide paper towels for hand drying.
g) Use loose pile of paper towels, not
towel dispenser that can become
h) Provide alcohol-based sanitiser wipes
for users to wipe areas that they touch.
i) Clean toilets and dispose of waste
safely after each activity.
Service team Liquid soap
Paper towels
Alcohol wipes
ACC COVID-19 Risk Assessment issue 3 (9 Oct 2020) Page 5 of 10
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4.7 Prevention Reduce risk from chairs, by
use of ‘quarantine’
(Virus can survive for a few hours
on chairs, unless they are steamcleaned (p4), but are not thought
to survive 3 days.)
Note: The cleaning guidance says
“the risk is likely to be reduced
significantly after 72 hours”. The
church guidance requires 48
hours quarantine for books.
a) Keep to a minimum the number of
chairs that are used for each activity, so
the number of potentially contaminated
chairs is minimised.
b) Encourage/direct people to only use
chairs that have not previously been
used by other people during that activity.
c) An end of activity, put all chairs that
have been used into non-use quarantine,
for minimum of three days (72 hours), in
a room not accessible to church users.
d) Use signs to indicate when chairs will
be safe for reuse.
Service team
4.8 Prevention Reduce spread by use of face
coverings as required by law.
(It is now mandatory by law for
face coverings to be worn by
everyone in churches, except
for specific exemptions).
a) Face coverings are now required to
be worn inside church, by everyone
except those with legitimate exemptions.
Legitimate exemptions include
employees (Peter & Vicki), under age
11, assisting hearing impaired, while
leading service, while leading prayers,
while giving bible reading, while reading
out a chorus, while consuming
communion, and causes the wearer
extreme distress.
b) Disposable face masks are to be
available for anyone who enters the
church without having their own mask.
c) Publicise this on website; noticeboard;
letter/email to church members.
Leadership Disposable
face masks
ACC COVID-19 Risk Assessment issue 3 (9 Oct 2020) Page 6 of 10
No. Control
Action How? Who? Equipment Done
4.9 Prevention Reduce risk from singing etc.
(Current guidelines are that
singing, shouting and raised
voices by the congregation should
be avoided, but that performers in
a music group can sing and play
blown instruments etc in
rehearsals and in worship, with
suitable precautions taken.
a) Prayers and responses not to be said
in raised voices.
b) No singing or shouting by
congregation. This applies to both
indoors services and outdoors services
in church grounds.
c) Humming, clapping and shaking
instruments by congregation are
d) Music group can rehearse and
perform in services, including singing
and blown instruments, with precautions
Service team
Music group
4.10 Prevention Precautions for music group
All musical activites must conform
to government “Performing Arts
Guidance” which is at:
a) Musicians must obey social distancing
at all times.
b) Musicians must obey “Rule of 6” at all
c) Singing and blown instruments must
use face covering or face visor or
perspex screen to protect congregation
and other musicians.
d) Musicians must not sing or blow
instruments when facing towards nearby
e) Blown instruments must be cleaned
after use and not shared.
f) Microphones must not be shared and
must be cleaned/quarantined after use.
g) Avoid multiple people touching music
stands and similar equipment.
Music group
Face visors Yes
ACC COVID-19 Risk Assessment issue 3 (9 Oct 2020) Page 7 of 10
No. Control
Action How? Who? Equipment Done
4.11 Prevention Obey “Rule of 6” law.
It is illegal to socialise, both
indoors and outdoors, in
groups of more than 6, except
within a single household or
bubble which is larger than 6.
“Rule of 6” does not apply to
employees and volunteers who
are directly involved in running
and facilitating services (because
this is working, not socialising).
a) The “Rule of 6” law applies to
churches, both indoors and outdoors in
church grounds.
b) But churches are allowed to have
multiple groups of 6 or less present for
worship and for music performance and
c) There must be no mingling of groups
and no switching of people between
groups while on church premises.
d) Socialising in groups of more than 6,
or between groups, is illegal before,
during and after services.
e) Encourage congregation to leave
church building and grounds promptly
Service Team
Notice to be
displayed at
If compliance
is low, notice
to be read at
start or end of
5.1 Limit Cross
Clean hands on entering and
exiting the church (p8)
Hand Sanitiser(p7) and
Notices at entry and exit doors
All entering the
5.2 Limit Cross
All commonly touched surfaces
shall be cleaned immediately
before public enter for a use or
activity. (This must always be
done, to protect the public).
The relevant surfaces should
preferably also be cleaned
after the public leave at the
end of an activity. (This will
often be done, to protect
church staff).
a) Wipe down commonly touched hard
surfaces using a combined detergent
disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1,000
parts per million available chlorine (p3)
b) Wipe down electrical equipment with
alcohol-based sanitiser wipes.
c) Waste to be double-bagged and then
stored securely for 72 hours before
being thrown away in the regular
rubbish. (p1)
d) Use tick-list to identify all surfaces
needing cleaning and provide audit trail
of when and by whom cleaned
a) Service team.
b) Designated
members or
paid ACC staff
to do and record
c) Cleaning by
rd party groups,
to ACC
standard, is
acceptable to
ACC insurers if
Facilities for
dilution and
bottles, Paper
gloves aprons,
Alcohol wipes
ACC COVID-19 Risk Assessment issue 3 (9 Oct 2020) Page 8 of 10
No. Control
Action How? Who? Equipment Done
5.3 Limit Cross
Limit the surfaces that can be
a) Remove unnecessary tables and
chairs and all literature and toys.
b) Lock cupboards and rooms (p6) not
c) Keep doors open where possible, so
door handles not touched.
Sealing tape
Door wedges
5.4 Limit Cross
No refreshments (p10)
Guidelines now permit hospitality
spaces to serve food and drink, if
hospitality guidance is adhered to.
But ACC will not serve food nor
drink at present.
No food and drink to be served in ACC
at present.
Service leader
5.5 Limit Cross
Encourage online giving. (p10) If online not possible – basket for cash
offerings (on table, not passed round).
gloves for
cash handlers
5.6 Limit Cross
No shared Communion (p10)
Guidelines now permit
communion with ACC bread and
wine, under strict conditions. But
ACC will not provide bread and
a) Worshippers bring their own bread,
‘wine’ and cups
b) Nothing to be left at church
Service leader
6.1 Communication
with the Public
• Social distancing.
• Face coverings.
• Hand hygiene.
• Route through building.
• Entry and exits.
Signs and floor markings. Signs Yes
6.2 Communication
with the Public
Risk Assessment Website (p4) and displayed on
noticeboard (The church is also a place
of employment. We have a duty of care
to our employees and volunteers.)
ACC COVID-19 Risk Assessment issue 3 (9 Oct 2020) Page 9 of 10
No. Control
Action How? Who? Equipment Done
6.3 Communication
with the Public
Emphasise to worshippers the
government advice regarding
who is at risk, advising them
not to attend.
6.4 Communication
with the Public
Emphasise to all who attend
for worship:
• The regulations on selfisolation,
• Social distancing,
• Legal requirement to wear
a face covering inside
church building, unless
• Advisability of online
• BYO toys for children,
• BYO Bibles,
• BYO elements for
• Take own rubbish away
where possible,
• Obey “Rule of 6” law,
• Be a good witness to our
Having fellowship with each other, both
inside the building and outside in the car
park, before and after the service, is only
permitted if it is strictly limited to groups
of 6 people or less, with groups not
intermingling, changing or having
fellowship between groups.
Discourage fellowship outside church
grounds on pavement because this is a
bad witness to obeying “Rule of 6” law.
Reinforce from
the front where
ACC COVID-19 Risk Assessment issue 3 (9 Oct 2020) Page 10 of 10
No. Control
Action How? Who? Equipment Done
7.0 Children and Youth Group Activities.
Activities for children and youth groups, such as Sunday Club and Friday Youth Night, are now permitted, but must follow the guidance
for these activities.
The applicable guidance is the Department for Education guidance on out-of-school settings, which is at:
If ACC chooses to run such activities, the means to adhere to the guidance will need to considered.
8.0 Meetings and small gatherings.
Some meetings and small gatherings are now permitted in church premises, but must follow the guidance for these activities.
The applicable guidance is the government guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community premises, which is at:
If ACC chooses to permit such activities, the means to adhere to the guidance will need to considered.