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Many examples of community outreach are an extension of pastoral care but they bring with them their own risk management and insurance implications, examples of which can be found below.

  • Messy church events


    You don’t need to tell us if you are holding a Messy Church event, we view it as part of your church activity. You will however need to consider:

    • Safeguarding
    • Health and Safety

    You can find out more about Messy Church on their website.

  • Fresh Expressions of church


    Sometimes Fresh Expressions activities take place in unfamiliar settings such as a church in a café, pub or school. In general, there are no additional insurance implications but you do need to be aware of your obligations in respect of, for example:

    • Health and Safety
    • Safeguarding, particularly if you are serving a youth congregation
    • Personal safety.

    Where you are involved in a more unusual or hazardous Fresh Expressions of a church please contact us. Occasionally we may need to charge an additional premium.

    You can find out more about Fresh Expressions on their website.

  • Foodbanks


    Many churches have taken the lead by setting up foodbanks or joining with other churches in the community to do so. If you are planning to operate a foodbank, please call us for advice.

    Key things to consider before setting up or getting involved with a foodbank:

    • Where will you hold the foodbank?
    • Who runs the foodbank?
    • Where will you get the food from?

    To make sure your church insurance policy covers your foodbank, we may need to add a small annual charge to your premium.

    Find out more

  • Street Pastor programme


    Yes, you will be covered, under your Church Shield policy, as part of your outreach activity. However, it is important that those taking part in any activity have completed the Street Pastor training programme.

    All activity must be done as part of an organised team working in conjunction with your local police force.

    Find out more about Street Pastors on their website.

  • Parish Nursing


    Much of what a Parish Nurse does is an extension of the traditional pastoral care churches provide. If you are planning to use the services of a Parish Nurse, please contact us as we will need to extend your Church Shield policy and an additional premium may be charged.

    Any nurse acting as a Parish Nurse must be registered with Parish Nursing Ministries UK. We also recommend that all Parish Nurses are recruited through Parish Nursing Ministries UK.

  • Night shelters


    You may decide to run a night shelter in your church to help local homeless people, either for a set time during the winter or the full period from November to the end of March.

    We can provide cover under your Church Shield policy and there will be a small additional premium for churches holding night shelters. Housing Justice offer a Shelter Quality Mark for church night shelters.

    Find out more

  • Cafes


    Unless the café means there will be a lot more cash held at the church, or you’ll be serving a lot of hot meals on a regular basis, you probably won’t need any extra cover. If you are preparing and serving food you must train staff and volunteers in basic food hygiene and let your local council know. They’ll tell you whether you need to register as a food service provider.

    You will need to make sure that you are aware of the requirements of:

    • The Food Safety Act 1990

    • The Food Hygiene Regulations 2006.

If we offer basic household budget advice to members of our community are there any insurance implications?

Your Church Shield policy includes cover if the church is held legally liable where a member of the public suffers a financial loss arising out of errors or omissions in the provision of advice or services provided by the church.

This cover would apply to administrative matters such as the double booking of your church hall, but will also apply where other services such as:

  • Basic money

  • Management advice

  • General life skills advice

  • Support in completing benefit forms

  • Or volunteers transporting people to appointments are provided.

Whilst we can offer cover for professional counselling services, we would not be able to cover any professional financial, legal or medical advice (other than Parish Nursing).

If you are considering making professional advice available then please contact us on 0345 606 1331 to discuss.

Your responsibility for community outreach activities  

How to contact us

For help, call our dedicated customer services team (please have your policy number available) on:

0345 606 1331

(Monday to Friday 8am-6pm excluding bank holidays)

Or you can email -

Methodist Insurance PLC (MIC) Reg. No. 6369. Registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester, GL1 1JZ. Methodist Insurance PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, Firm Reference Number 136423.