New COVID-19 frequently asked questions (FAQs) are now available from the COVID-19 page of TMCP’s website and explore general practical issues that face Managing Trustees given the impact of COVID-19.

The first set of FAQs focus on licences due to the number of enquiries TMCP are receiving from Managing Trustees. The Government guidance on social distancing is making it very difficult for community groups to operate and questions over cancellations are inevitable.

The FAQs cover the following questions:

  • Some of our licensees have called us to cancel their use of our church hall for the time being. How should we respond to this? (FAQ Q1.1)
  • In accordance with the guidance on the Methodist Church website we have suspended all our Church groups. We allow a number of local community groups to use our premises under licence. Can we insist that these third party groups stop using our premises aswell? We are using the Standard Licence. (FAQ Q1.2)
  • The majority of our licensees have requested a break in their licence due to COVID-19. However, we have a food bank who use our premises under licence and given the ever great need for food banks we are anxious that the building remains open so that they can continue to use it. Is this possible? (FAQ Q1.3)
  • Some of our licensees have called us to cancel their use of our church hall for the time being. We are minded to agree but how do we go about this in practice? Can we agree this informally or do we have to ask our licensees to terminate their licences and then get them to sign new licences when they return? We are using the Standard Licence. (FAQ Q2.1)
  • Some of our licensees have called us to cancel their use of our church hall for the time being. Ideally we would like to do this informally i.e. suspend use while we see what happens rather than terminating the licence altogether. If we do this, are we obliged to make our licensees pay for unused sessions? (FAQ Q3.1)
  • Will our insurer cover the charity for lost revenue? (FAQ Q3.2)

Managing Trustees are also encouraged to refer to the helpful guidance on the Methodist Church website:

Managing Trustees will have lots of things to consider in these troubling times but hopefully worries over property can be minimised. The Managing Trustees will be anxious to assess the decisions they face relating to property having regard to the responsibilities placed on them, Government guidance and central advice given by the Connexional Team. We are keeping the ever changing situation under review and will aim to keep Managing Trustees updated through the News Hub section of our website as well as our dedicated COVID-19 page. The FAQs directly relating to COVID-19 will also be kept up to date.

If you have any specific questions not covered in the FAQs or need any further assistance then do not hesitate to contact us by email or by telephone using the telephone numbers which you will have at the foot of emails received from members of the team.