The Home Office welcomes contributions from faith groups on its proposals to enact a new set of duties upon those who manage public-access venues with a capacity of over 100 people, relating to public security and the risk of terrorism.
This will affect most church buildings, and the new duties, while being proportionate, will have legal sanctions for non-compliance. It will place extra requirements upon those who serve as, for instance, members of PCCs, Baptist diaconates, church councils and all who are, in charity law, seen as ‘managing trustees.’ It will also require clergy/local church leaders to be acquainted with these duties, as they should with safeguarding and health and safety regulations.
The Archdeacon of London, the Ven. Luke Miller, who chairs the faith-sector panel of the London Resilience Forum, has warned that this government legislation on public security connected with terrorism could have unintended consequences for churches. In a recent blog he said “if just one church which would otherwise have been open for individual prayer or visiting decides to close as a result of this, the terrorists will have had a major success.”
CTE’s General Secretary, Rev Dr Paul Goodliff, encourages churches to respond. “It’s important that churches at every level — locally as well as nationally — engage with the consultation that runs until Friday 2 July 2021. If there are concerns, then these need to be raised soon.”
Download the consultation documents