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Ready, Steady, Go!

The race to get winter ready

It goes without saying that the winter months tend to come with their own set of risks. When it comes to ensuring the safety of your church and those using it, you have a duty of care, but a few simple steps can help prevent more serious problems and provide a little peace of mind.


Top tips

Binoculars are handy to help you check roofs

For dealing with dead or diseased trees, use a reliable contractor

Make sure you know where and how to turn off the water supply

  • Roofs

    • Clear gutters, valleys, gullies and downpipes
    • Look out for loose or missing slates and tiles
    • Look out for signs of soil being washed away at ground level as this can indicate that water is not being caught by the gutter
  • Grounds

    • Clear grounds of dead or diseased trees or fallen branches
    • Clear paths of leaves and debris
    • Monitor trees that could be vulnerable to high winds and rainfall
  • Pipes

    • Note where heating and water pipes are located
    • Make sure water pipes are well lagged
    • Ensure the boiler and heating system has been serviced
    • Check that the frost thermostat is working


Prevention is better than cure.

Consistent maintenance and vigilance throughout winter is without doubt the best way of avoiding a costly repair later on in the year.

A large part of success in the Steady phase is simply to repeat the Ready phase!

  • Keep at your maintenance regime


    • Continue clearing gutters, gullies and drains
    • Keep pathways clear of leaves and other debris
    • After windy or stormy weather, check roofs for missing or loose slate / tiles

    Remember: It’s much more cost effective to replace a missing or loose slate or tile than repair damaged timbers!

  • Keep a watching eye on changing weather


    Prepare for icy or snowy weather, ensuring you have a plan for people to safely access the church 

    • What path or paths need to be cleared to allow safe access?
    • Who’s job is it to clear icy paths and can they safely do this work?

    Keep an eye on weather forecasts and be ready to deploy your action plan if wind, rain, snow or ice threaten


Top tips

Be ready to act if your church is damaged in bad weather

Have a list handy of the contact details of your insurers and local contractors

  • Pipes again!


    In the case of burst pipes, make sure you isolate the water flow and if manageable, catch any water in a bucket or container.

    Remember: Don’t use any electrics which may have been affected by water.

    If you’re lucky to have detected frozen pipes before they burst, turn off the water supply and gently thaw them out with a hairdryer (plugged in a distance away from any water).

    Remember: Never use a naked flame to dry out frozen pipes.

  • Contents


    • Move vulnerable contents to higher ground

  • Staying warm


    • Ensure you have access to temporary heaters

  • Staying safe


    • Be aware of what to do and even more importantly, what not to do in an emergency
    • Put your and your community’s safety first in any action you take in an emergency

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc (EIG) Reg No 1718196. Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) Reg No 24869. Ecclesiastical Life Ltd (ELL) Reg No 243111. Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services Ltd (EFAS) Reg No 2046087. Ecclesiastical Underwriting Management Ltd (EUML) Reg No 2368571. E.I.O. Trustees Ltd Reg No 941199. EdenTree Investment Management Ltd (EIM) Reg No 2519319. All companies are registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ. EIO and ELL are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 113848 (EIO) and 110318 (ELL). EFAS and EIM are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 126123 (EFAS) and 527473 (EIM). EUML is an appointed representative of EIO who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 402228.