Raoul Hewitt is the Property & Trust Officer and Kathryn Hemensley is Assistant Property and Trust Officer. They are available to advise on all matters to do with property, building work, trust and legal advice etc. 

Both can be contacted at Synod Offices on 01823 275470 or by email

There are many resources available to help churches manage property issues and apply for help in caring for and developing their church buildings. These can be accessed using the links below.



New Regulations for Manses

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 were approved by Parliament on 15 September 2015 and will come into force on 1 October 2015.  The Regulations require landlords in the private rented sector to ensure that a smoke alarm is fitted on every storey of a rented dwelling occupied under a tenancy and that a carbon monoxide alarm is fitted in any room which contains a solid-fuel burning appliance.  It is ‘best practice’ to treat manses occupied by Ministers of Church Workers in the same way as those which are let.

The House of Commons Library has just published a helpful briefing: Smoke Alarms, Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Legionella: Landlords' Responsibilities which sets out the obligations on private landlords in relation to smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and the avoidance of Legionnaires’ Disease (caused by the Legionella bacteria).

Asbestos Management

Elders should not ignore the need for an Asbestos Survey and Management Plan.  The latest legislation imposes a Duty of Care on occupiers (ie the Elders) of non-residential property, and on our download page we have included an information booklet from the Health and Safety Executive which provides further information (Download 11).  The position with manses is interesting and in most cases the Manse will be exempt from the Regulations (whether occupied by a minister or tenant), however in some cases it will be prudent to include the manse in the management survey.  If you don’t think you have any asbestos on your church premises then you still need to have a survey confirming this!  Please contact Raoul Hewitt at the Synod Office if you need advice on this.

HSE Management of Asbestos

Insurance Advice for Churches

Many insurance companies are limiting cover for replacing stolen lead.  Some state that cover is withdrawn unless “smart water” is applied.  Congregational & General continue to have No limit and no “smart water” stipulation.  Insurance companies are no longer able to provide independent advice (following regulation of the industry) and churches may wish to use an independent insurance broker to ensure that obtain the best cover.  The South Western Synod Trust (and other Synods) are using David Edwards Insurance Brokers. There are of course other brokers who may be able to provide similar advice.

David Edwards Insurance Brokers