The Synod supports the mission and ministry of our local churches.
Who We Are
Who's who at URC Thames North Synod?
A list of committees at URC Thames North Synod.
Find out about the structure of the United Reformed Church.
There are approximately 1500 local United Reformed Churches Across England, Scotland and Wales.
Thames North Trust
Find out about the Thames North Trust.
What We Do
How we undertake a range of functions to support our local churches.
Discipleship Steering Group
The DSG at the forefront of our commitment to whole life discipleship.
Children & Youth
News on our children's and youth work and activities.
Support for those working with children, young people and adults at risk of harm.
Church & Society Network
The Church & Society Network explores various church and society issues.
Work With Us
Current job vacancies within the Thames North Synod and our partner organisations.
Find a Local Church
Directory of our local churches within the Thames North Synod.
Weekly e-newsletters from the Synod.
Thames North Synod gathers for full Synod meetings 2-3 times a year.
Information and documents relating to Church Premises.
Health & Safety
Health & Safety Policy for the United Reformed Church Thames North Synod.
Additional resources & downloads.
All electrical work should be installed in accordance with the Regulations for Electrical Installations issued by the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), current edition, under British Standard BS7671.
Electrical contractors enrolled with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) or the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) should be employed for work in church buildings.
Inspection and Testing
It is recommended that churches have their hard wire and fixed wire electrical installations inspected and tested every five years and this will usually be stated by your insurer as a requirement. An Electrical Installation Condition Report should be carried out in accordance with IET regulations (17th Edition—amendment 3) came into force on 1st January 2015.
Local trustees (usually the Elders Meeting) should ensure that a thorough physical examination of all portable appliances is carried out regularly to ensure that worn flexes, broken plugs or sockets etc. are replaced immediately. A schedule of how and when inspection should be carried out is included on page 4. Further information on testing portable appliances is available in the Health and Safety Executive publication ‘Maintaining portable electrical equipment in low-risk environments’: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg236.pdf
The organ can present a hazard if not cared for properly.
Lights provided for illuminating the music desk or internally to facilitate inspection of the instrument should only be installed by a qualified electrician using permanent wiring.
If a portable electric heater is required for the organist it should be of the convector or fan assisted type fitted with a thermostatic cut-out that operates in the event of overheating.
The electric organ blower is frequently overlooked as is the specialised humidifying apparatus that often sits alongside the blowing equipment. The electric organ blower should be examined at regular maintenance intervals by a qualified electrician and the inspection, maintenance or repair of pipe organs should only be entrusted to an experienced professional organ builder. Please note that the blower enclosure may contain asbestos and this should be noted on your asbestos register, or removed under controlled conditions if necessary.
Temporary or extension wiring should only be allowed in exceptional circumstances. All temporary circuits should be physically disconnected from the mains when not in use.
Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
The Electricity at Work Regulations have a wide application and apply to most churches. They require that electrical installations are safe and regularly checked by a qualified electrician working to the current IET regulations (BS7671). Under no circumstances should an untrained person attempt any electrical work. The Health and Safety Executive guidance notes indicate that even the changing of a light bulb or replacing a fuse should be left to trained individuals.
Electrical Installations – Part P
Part P of the Building Regulations affect all churches that have manse property or other residential property including flats within church buildings. If you are planning to extend or alter the electrical installation you must comply with Part P. This is not restricted to wholesale rewire and includes such items as providing extra sockets or adding new ceiling lights.
Since the 1st January 2005 work carried out in dwellings should be notified to a Building Control body, unless the work is being carried out by a competent person. See 2013 edition Part P of the Building Regulations 2010.
When any electrical work is carried out the trustees (elders) should ensure that a competent NICEIC approved contractor is employed.
Table for Testing Portable Appliances
|Equipment / environment||User checks||Formal visual inspection||Combined inspection and test|
|IT – Desktop computer etc.||No||Yes, 2-4 years||No if double insulated|
|Photocopiers, fax machines (rarely moved)||No||Yes, 2-4 years||No if double insulated|
|Double insulated (Class II) equipment. Not hand-held. Moved occasionally, eg fans, table lamps||No||Yes, 2-4 years||No|
|Double insulated (Class II) equipment: hand-held, eg some floor cleaners, some kitchen equipment||Yes||Yes, 6 months – 1 year||No|
|Earthed equipment (class 1): Electric kettles, some floor cleaners, some kitchen equipment||Yes||Yes, 6 months – 1 year||Yes 1-2 years|
|Cables (leads and plugs to all equipment) and mains voltage extension leads and battery-charging equipment||Yes||Yes 6 months—4 years depending on the type of equipment it is connected to||Yes, 1-5 years depending on the type of equipment it is connected to.|
Over time, when you look at the results of user checks, visual inspections and, where appropriate, portable appliance tests, you will notice trends. These may tell you that you need to look at or test electrical equipment less (or more) often, depending on the number of problems being found. Some examples of how to do this can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/faq-portab;e-appliance-testing.htm
A large print version of this document is available upon request. Contact Synod Office: 020 7799 5000
Electrical Safety Guidelines 2020 update .pdf file | 298 KB