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Internal bookings procedure for church members using church facilities

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Author Message

Andrew Bagwell

Wednesday 02 March 2011 5:32:01 pm

I'd appreciate any guidance that can be offered about how you regulate church members booking your own facilties for music practices, small groups, courses etc. Our site is getting very busy and are current system is no longer sufficient. We're forever having to change people's bookings, avoid clashes and move meetings around.

I'm particularly interested in finding out about:
What are your rules?
Approval methods?
How long can a church member book a venue in advance?
Do you have any T&Cs?

Our method of communicating and recording bookings works fine (via Church Insight), but we need better guidelines and rules to help everyone to be happy!

Sheila Randall

Thursday 24 March 2011 10:41:38 am

We have a regulated system in use for external bookings which includes church members booking for Birthday parties etc., but have no official system for church meetings and events other than agreed weekly slots other than booking with the church administrator. The simple diary and SASCO planner in the office (which is the ultimate check for everyone) generally work well, although we do have folk who still think that they can come in at any time and hold any meeting in any room because they are church members - then find the said room occupied! There is a programme of regular weekly events on the notice-board and that is a useful reference for people + quick replies to emails when requests come in.

I guess I am a quite a firm church administrator but it has taken 4 years to get to the place we are at now - which is about 90% effective. Keep at it - reminding members that they do need to book rooms for meetings - and try to arrange regular slots and fit them into a schedule which is available for all to see. You'll get to 90% in the end.

Sheila Randall

Thursday 24 March 2011 10:44:12 am

An after-thought - if you would like details of our booking procedure, conditions of hire etc do please ask. Email: admin@lymmbaptistchurch.com

Calvin Hanks

Thursday 14 April 2011 10:56:17 am


we have a very formal system for external users and a slightly less formal but still official system for internal users

our internal users still have to contact the Admin office and request the date/time/room they want which we can decline if busy- they just don'thave to fill all the forms out that we ask of external users/terms and conditinos etc

if people do just turn up they often find the room already in use!!

Monday 09 January 2012 12:30:23 pm

on a slight tangent; can I ask for any examples of church policy on booking your church 'sanctuary'. Do other churches use this space specifically for religious services, or do other events take place there too? If other stuff happens there, what regulations do you have on activities? Many thanks.

Sheila Randall

Monday 09 January 2012 1:19:34 pm

Hilary - we are a Baptist Church and there have been many discussions, with different opinions, about the use of our main "Worship Space" - which is not exactly a sanctuary but is seen as the equivalent by a no of folk.

The result is to treat it just as a "Space" to be booked like any other space - but we do monitor this use and need to be sensitive to people's feelings.

I can't comment on the sanctuary space in an Anglican church except to say that recent training from the Baptist Union encouraged us all to see our whole church as a space to be used for community and the growth of the Kingdom.

Monday 09 January 2012 2:02:22 pm

Thanks Sheila - I work for a Baptist church too. Did you get your BU training with any web back-up ie something that's downloadable?

Sheila Randall

Monday 09 January 2012 3:00:32 pm

BU training came from a Resources Day run by the NWBA and was very informal. I suggest you ask the advice of your local regional association and see what they say. I am not used to our worship area being called a sanctuary - hence the misunderstanding. If you would likd details of our general booking system you only have to ask. Best wishes.

Mark Parsons

Monday 16 January 2012 8:33:05 am

Hilary, we are an anglican church but we also treat our 'sanctuary' as we treat the rest of the church complex and allow it to be booked for uses other than worship. We do have some restrictions on the types of activities which can take place, but these apply to the whole building not just the 'sanctuary'. If you email me at mark.parsons@stjohnsealing.org.uk I can send you a copy. Mark