Your responsibility for community outreach activities

21 June 2018

Summary of some of the insurance and risk management issues you need to think about when you are considering community outreach activities such as foodbanks or night shelters.

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:
You can find out more on the Messy Church website.

Fresh Expressions of church

Will there be an additional charge if we start a 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.


We would like to run a foodbank at our church. Do we need extra cover?
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.

Cafes and coffee shops

We want to run a café in the church will we need extra cover?
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.


Will we need extra cover if we run a night shelter at our church?
We can provide cover under your insurance policy and there will be a small additional premium for churches holding night shelters.

Overseas trips

We are planning a church trip abroad, will our policy cover our activities?
We will usually be able to provide cover for low-risk overseas visits, such as conferences or choir tours within the European Union. However, higher risk trips, such as those involving manual work or vulnerable people and visits to any area where the Foreign & Commonwealth Office warns against travel, must be notified to us for further consideration.
Key things to consider if planning a trip abroad:
  • Have you checked the advice of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for the destination?
  • Will you be working under the instruction of another party, such as a local church or charity?
  • Does everyone travelling have appropriate travel insurance for a business trip?
  • Have you got appropriate health and safety and safeguarding procedures in place for the trip?
  • If your church is planning a trip abroad, please call us for advice. 
Depending on the nature of the trip, we may need to charge an additional premium to provide cover for activities outside of the UK.