Church Hire: Frequently Asked Questions

Who can answer any questions I have?

Please contact us and our Parish Office will be in touch to help you.

Can anyone hire the church?

We’ll discuss your event with you to ensure its suitable to the character and atmosphere of the church.

What about Insurance?

Organisations we let the church to are expected to carry Public Liability insurance to a minimum of £1 million.

What is the seating capacity of the church?

Some 500+ can be seated at St Mary’s, Saffron Walden.

Are there toilets?

There is a disabled toilet in the church as well as in the Parish Rooms and we’ll discuss your event with you to determine whether you need to hire the Parish Rooms as well.

Where may the performers prepare? Is there a green room? Are there changing rooms?

The Parish Rooms may serve as a green room.  These need to be booked separately.

Is access provided for disabled people?

Wheelchair access is available via the church’s south door.

How much does it cost to hire the church?

For your initial enquiries please contact us as costings vary considerably depending on the time of year and the length of the hire.

Are there parking facilities?

Parking on the church grounds is very limited.  Parking for a short space of time, while heavy or bulky equipment is loaded or unloaded, is permitted.  There are two spaces for cars by the side of the church’s south entrance.  By convention these are kept for disabled people’s cars.  There are also two spaces for cars by the North Chapel door.  If the disabled spaces are not required they may be allocated by the Hirer as they wish.

It remains, however, the responsibility of the hirer to ensure that all other pathways are kept clear of vehicles, whether belonging to the Hirer’s organisation or not, during the period of hire.

What safety precautions are in place during the period of hire?

We will appoint a church representative who will be responsible for the church keys and act as, or in conjunction, with the nominated emergency co-ordinator throughout the hiring. The hirer must nominate 4 stewards to act in conjunction with the emergency co-ordinator to supervise the safety arrangements which are issued on the day.

Is it possible to move the furniture?

Yes.  Any unsecured furniture and furnishings may be carefully moved, but must be replaced exactly after the period of hire. However, no fixed furniture may be unscrewed or unfastened in any way.

Can we fix things to the walls, pillars or furnishings?

No, not temporarily or permanently.

What about the use of electrical lighting or appliances?

The use of any electrical lighting or appliances additional to the church’s own must be sanctioned in advance and may attract an additional fee dependent on the amount of current used.

Are there lighting facilities?

We can put you in touch with companies where lighting may be hired.  The use of metered electricity is charged extra.

Can I use my own electrical equipment?

All electrical equipment brought on site for use during the hire must have been PAT tested within the last 2 years.  If this condition cannot be met it is the hirer’s responsibility to discuss this with us.  We may arrange a  visual inspection of the equipment.

How may I market my event?

We are happy to publicise events via our website and social media and to display a poster in the church’s entrance area.  All other marketing measures are at the hirer’s discretion and cost.

Is there any special guidance if my event involves children or vulnerable adults?

All groups hiring St Mary’s are required to confirm, as a condition of hire, that they have read and will abide by the Safeguarding Policy of the Diocese of Chelmsford (a copy of which can be obtained from the Parish Office or here
ensure that children and vulnerable adults are protected at all times, by taking all reasonable steps to prevent injury, illness, loss or damage occurring