Preparing for Martyn’s Law and what it might mean for Churches

What is Martyn’s Law?

Following the Manchester Arena bombing attack in 2017, Martyn’s Law aims at preventing such acts of terrorism. While clearly having good aims, many churches may be nervous or concerned at the burdens that could be placed upon them in order to comply, felt particularly by smaller Churches or those with limited resources.

Now that draft legislation has been published, we have a better understanding of the effect this legislation may have on the activities of churches and other Christian ministries.

The following article drafted has been by a group of solicitors to help us understand what the law could mean for Churches:

What will Martyn's Law mean for Churches and Christian ministries?


What will this mean for Churches (A very brief summary)?

All Churches with a building capacity over 100 will be classified as ‘Standard Duty Premises’ and Churches with a capacity over 800 may fall into other categories if they host events and/or conferences. 

Standard Duty Premises will be required by law to give basic anti-terrorism protection training to all relevant workers - such as staff and key volunteers, and complete a Terrorism evaluation every 12 months or sooner if there are significant changes.


How can you prepare?

  • Start to think through who would be your ‘relevant workers’ for terrorism training purposes, how many are there and how might you provide them with training?
  • Who would be your ‘responsible person(s)’?
  • Do you need to liaise with other parties? For example if you meet in a school, it may be a good idea to discuss how you might work through this together.
  • Begin thinking about what an anti-terrorism evaluation/risk assessment would look like for your premises or event. Your existing health and safety plans would be a good place to start. You can find a helpful template to use here
  • Consider taking some counter-terrorism awareness training - you can access this for free via this link, Click 'Awareness E-Learning', then 'Start new training session', then 'I am learning as part of a registered organisation', Fill in the details and enter the PIN code 886803
  • Make use of the resources on the Protect UK website
  • Contact your local Counter Terrorism Security Advisor to ask what the plans are in your local area
  • If your exploring potential security measures check out the advice and guidance here

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