You and your church trustees have a duty of care to ensure the safety of all church visitors; and this is especially relevant when the winter weather closes in.
What may be a gentle walk in and out of church in the summer can turn into a series of hazardous pitfalls when the snow and ice arrive.
It is your responsibility to ensure at least one path - including its lighting and signage – is clear of snow and ice whenever it is reasonable for you to do so.
The word ‘reasonable’ is all-important. While it might not be reasonable for paths to be cleared during heavy falls of snow, the longer the snow and ice remain on the ground after the fall has ceased, the greater the likelihood of it being considered reasonable for some attempt to be made to clear it.
By simply monitoring weather forecasts you can have an indication of when heavy snowfall or very low temperatures may occur. This could enable you to take precautions such as putting down rock salt for example.
It is not necessary to ensure that each and every available path is immediately cleared, so long as there is one safe route available to access the building.
Please remember, the safety of the persons/s who are responsible for clearing snow and ice must be taken into consideration.
Please take a look at our best practice guidance for further details about keeping your pathways clear, and check your policy documents for details of any conditions specific to your policy.