Most church halls are registered in the name of the London Diocesan Fund and held on behalf of the PCC as Managing Trustee. If this is the case the value of the hall should appear in the church’s annual accounts as a fixed asset. This can be the insurance value if your accounts are on a Receipts and Payments basis. If the accounts are produced on an accruals basis then, if an historic value is already in the accounts, you can carry on using that, otherwise a sale valuation will be needed.
Hiring the Hall
PCCs have two options when renting halls:
Casual Rentals – there is no specific legal definition for this however a group that rents the hall as a one-off or only for once or twice a week e.g. parties, Alcoholics Anonymous, Mother’s Union etc.).
Formal Lettings/Leases – this is any rental which is not casual. It includes all companies (including nurseries) wishing to use the premises as their place of business* as well as any long-term hirers requiring exclusive use of the premises.** Formal leases must be signed by the PCC, the Diocesan Property Department and the Lessee. Your archdeacon should also be consulted. The PCC must keep a copy of the safeguarding policy of all regular hirers.
All hirers will also need public liability insurance if their event/activity is open to the public and will need insurance for any equipment or other items they bring on to the premises.
If live music is to be played or alcohol is being sold further licenses will be needed including a local authority Temporary Events Notice and a music licence.
For more information about renting your hall please email Virginia Featherston in Parish Property Support,
*Where a hall is used for business it becomes liable for business rates to the local authority. The business should cover these rates, not the church. You should make this clear in the lease agreement.
**Exclusive use – it is acceptable to combine exclusive use and casual rentals e.g. you may have a nursery who has exclusive use during the week and rent the hall to casual hirers at the weekend. If you intend this arrangement then it must be stipulated in any leases.
A note about faith group rentals – there is no specific policy about hall rental to faith groups however the PCC should take adequate measures to ensure the appropriateness of any faith group renting their property including researching their beliefs, checking for membership to any recognised organisations (e.g. Evangelical Alliance) and, if they have used other premises before, speaking to their previous lessor. You may also want to check with local clerics regarding the group’s reputation.