Church Facility Use Policy

Church Facility Use Policy

This policy was updated on Saturday, 7 March 2020. Voted and Accepted. Refer to minutes item xx/xxx of Business Meeting held on Saturday, 7 March 2020.
In conjunction with this policy, the Key Holders should also familiarise themselves with the
 Key and Access Control Policy (this policy has restricted access and/or available through the Church Board/Church Clerk).

1. Introduction

The church’s facilities were provided through God’s benevolence and by the sacrificial generosity of church members. The church desires that its facilities be used for the fellowship of the Body of Christ and always to God’s glory. Although the facilities are not generally open to the public, we make our facilities available to Bellville Church members and approved non-member persons and groups as a witness to the grace of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

However, facility use will not be permitted to persons or groups holding, advancing, advocating beliefs, or engaging in practices that conflict with the church’s faith or moral teachings, as summarized in the church’s constitution, bylaws, and doctrinal statements (27 Fundamental Beliefs). Facilities may not be used for activities that contradict, or are deemed by the Church Board as inconsistent, with the church’s faith or moral teachings. The elder's council will advise the Board and make recommendations and not have the final decision in approving the use of the church facilities.

This policy is necessary for two reasons. First, the church may not in good conscience materially cooperate in activities or beliefs contrary to its faith. Allowing its facilities to be used for purposes that contradict the church’s beliefs would be material cooperation with that activity and would be a violation of the church’s faith and religious practice. See 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:22.

Second, it is important that the church presents a consistent message to the local congregation and wider community, as a witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To allow the use of facilities by groups or persons who express beliefs or engage in practices contrary to the church’s faith would send a negative message. It could be a source of confusion and scandal to church members and the community because it may imply that the use of our facilities implies agreement with the beliefs or practices of the persons or groups using them.

Therefore, in no event shall permission to use church facilities be granted to persons or groups who hold, advance, advocate beliefs, or engage in practices that contradict the church’s faith. Nor may the facilities be used in a way that contradicts the church’s faith. This policy applies to all church facilities because we believe the church should be good stewards over all God has given her.

2. Approved Users and Priority of Use

The property and facilities include the property located at 11 Eendrag Street, Bellville South, Cape Town, parking lots on the church property and related equipment owned by the church.

The elder's council of Bellville Seventh-day Adventist Church (hereafter referred to as Bellville Adventist Church) to advise the Board, which in turn the Board will advise the Business Community (which is the highest body to have the final vote) to approve all uses of church facilities. Priority shall generally be given to members of the church, their immediate families who regularly attend at Bellville Adventist Church, and organized groups that are part of the ministry, organization, or sponsored activities of the Bellville Adventist Church. Church facilities and equipment will be made available to non-members or groups meeting the following qualifications:

  1. Groups or persons requesting facility use must affirm that their beliefs and practices and planned uses of the facilities are not in disagreement with the church’s faith and practice.
  2. The group or person seeking facility use must submit a digitally signed Church Facility Reservation Request and Agreement form.
  3. The group or person seeking facility use must take responsibility for the facilities and equipment used and must abide by the church’s rules of conduct for facility use, as stated below and as described in any additional instructions by church officials.
  4. Requests for use of the property or facilities by groups or individuals not affiliated with Bellville Adventist Church or its ministries will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  5. Unless otherwise agreed upon, church facility use does not give exclusive rights to the entire facility, as other events may take place at the same time.
  6. Bellville Adventist Church reserves the right to terminate an event at any time if, in the opinion of church leadership, this agreement is being violated. Further, Bellville Adventist Church does not at any time relinquish control of the facility. Additionally, Bellville Adventist Church reserves the right to eject any person(s) from the facility not acting in accordance with this agreement. Upon the exercise of this authority, the Facility User waives any right and claim for damages against Bellville Adventist Church and any of its officers or members.
  7. Bellville Adventist Church does not assume any responsibility for material stored on the site that is the property of others, nor do we warrant that the facility will be available at all times.
  8. The Facility User assumes liability for damage to the property and agrees to Bellville Adventist Church’s methods of moving and storing materials. In principle, the Facility User will be liable to pay R1000-00 upon requesting the use of the facility. This amount is fully refundable if there are no damages caused.
  9. The Facility User agrees to abide by all of Bellville Adventist Church’s policies as well as with all applicable laws related to building use (example use of fire extinguishers, limiting the maximum number of people allowed, etc.).
  10. The Facility User shall not sell tickets for, or admit into the assigned area, a larger number of persons than can safely and freely move about. Bellville Adventist Church shall be the final arbiter as to what this number is.
  11. Usage may not be transferred to any other person, group, company, or organization in whole or in part without prior written approval from Bellville Adventist Church.
  12. Bellville Adventist Church reserves the right to set or place limits on sound levels during all events. If requested levels are not adjusted and maintained, Bellville Adventist Church has the right to discontinue the event.

3. Accountability

It shall be the responsibility of the Bellville Adventist Church appointed officials or other designees (like deaconry)  to supervise and direct the activity of the individuals participating in the planning and conducting of the event to ensure compliance with all aspects of this policy.

All parties involved in the use of the church facilities need to adhere and abide by the instructions from the appointed official or designee.

All facility users shall designate a specific individual(s) to be the “Person Actively In Charge” of every event. This person shall be named in the agreement and Bellville Adventist Church shall be made aware of who this person is through face to face introduction. This person(s) shall be on-site during the preparation, event activity and takedown for the purpose of accountability.

Should anything become damaged during the event, the Person Actively in Charge shall notify the Bellville Adventist Church representative within 24 hours of the damage taking place.

All church events are to comply with the pertinent Fire and Safety Codes of the City of Cape Town. Attendance at events is limited to the stated capacity for the facilities. The designated Person Actively in Charge of an event is responsible for monitoring attendance during an event to be certain safety and facility guidelines are observed.

Notice to Bellville Adventist Church Members: It remains the responsibility of Department/Ministry Leaders to make arrangements well in advance with Key Holders to gain access to the church facilities for meetings, events, etc.

4. Fees and Refund

A fee of R1000-00 is payable for non-Bellville members. An additional amount of R1000-00 will be required to cover any damages as stipulated in this policy (see point 8 above). Each use of church facilities is subject to the use and maintenance fees of the facility being used and will be communicated within 5 days of receiving the digitally signed Facility Request form.

If the Facility User wishes to cancel the Facility Request after payment was made, such a request must be made in writing and full payment will be refunded as per the cancellation request. Click here to cancel or view the cancel form.

5. Church Facility Use Guidelines

In general, the Facility User shall not injure or deface the facilities or furnishings and shall not permit others to do so. The Facility User may not make or allow any alterations to the facility without prior and written permission from Bellville Adventist Church. This includes driving nails, hooks, tacks or screws into any part of the facility or furnishings. Prestik or sellotape or any substance used to attach objects against walls are also prohibited. If the facility or any portion of the facilities are damaged during the term of the agreement by the act, or negligence of the Facility User or of the User’s agent, employee, patron, guest, or any person admitted to the facility by the User, the User will pay to Bellville Adventist Church such sums as shall be necessary to restore the facility to their former condition. The following guidelines shall be followed by all Facility Users:

  1. No alcoholic beverages to be consumed in church facilities and/or church premises.
  2. Smoking anywhere on the Bellville Adventist Church property is prohibited.
  3. The possession and/or use of illegal drugs or the abuse of prescription drugs on church property is prohibited.
  4. Groups are restricted to only those areas of the facility the group has reserved. All other areas are excluded and are not to be used.
  5. Food and beverages may be allowed in church hall only with the written approval of Bellville Adventist Church.
  6. The moving of furniture and equipment shall not be allowed without prior written consent from Bellville Adventist Church. Should permission be granted and noted as part of the agreement, all furniture and equipment shall be returned to their original location and configuration.
  7. The use of equipment (piano, audio and visual) will only be operated by designated Bellville Adventist Church staff.
  8. The sale of general merchandise (including books, CD’s, etc.) on church premises is not allowed without specific permission and written approval of Bellville Adventist Church.
  9. Clean up and removal of all decorations shall be the responsibility of the Facility User.
  10. Clean up of all areas of the facilities used shall be the responsibility of the Facility User.
  11. All events shall terminate on time. Functions extending beyond the agreed time frame may be subject to additional costs.
  12. The church facilities shall not serve as overnight accommodation.
  13. No candles allowed in the church facility unless permission and written approval is granted.
  14. No confetti allowed in the church facility and/or church premises.
  15. Respecting the church building and premises to be adhered to at all times.