Preface

The Presbyterian Church is a connectional church. All property of First Presbyterian Church is held in trust for the use and benefit of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (G-8.0200)

The Session is responsible for the mission and government of the particular church. It therefore has the responsibility and power to provide for the management of the property of the church, including determination of the appropriate use of church buildings and facilities. (G-10.0102o) Such decisions are ordinarily made in consultation with the Trustees.

The Constitution of the church states: "A particular church shall not sell, mortgage, or otherwise encumber any of its real property and it shall not acquire real property subject to an encumbrance or condition without the written permission of the presbytery transmitted through the session of the particular church.

"A particular church shall not lease its real property used for purposes of worship, or lease for more than five years any of its other real property, without the written permission of the presbytery transmitted through the session of the particular church." (G-8.0500)

It should be noted that churches which gain income derived from business which is unrelated to the purpose on which the organization’s exemption is based must file with the I.R.S. and are liable to taxes. This relates to rental or income-producing property owned by the church.

  1. Organizations, activities, boards, and ad hoc groups of First Presbyterian Church and the wider church shall have priority in the use of building and facilities. Such groups need simply clear the calendar with the church office and make any necessary arrangements for a key.
  2.  Individual members of the church wanting to use church facilities for personal reasons (e.g., need of space larger than home permits) should submit their requests to the Executive Committee of Session/Trustees (hereinafter referred to as Executive Committee). The user may want to consider a donation to the church for facility usage. In general, no fund-raising events are permitted.
  3. Use by outside groups/organizations will be considered when they are in harmony with the mission statement of the church. First Presbyterian has a long tradition of cooperation with community groups devoted to culture, education, and spiritual welfare. In general, no fund-raising events are permitted.

    OUTSIDE GROUP USE:

    1. Application for use of the building shall be made to the Executive Committee which shall make a recommendation to the Session/Trustees. The appropriate form should be completed and left at the church office four weeks in advance of proposed use.  Previously approved groups do not need to apply again but simply need to clear dates and any financial arrangements with the church office. Use by groups approved for meeting on a continuing basis will be reviewed annually in February by the Executive Committee.
    2. Outside groups using the church will provide the church office with the following: Name, address and phone number of the group and a responsible person therein, together with a signed statement of indemnity.
    3. When the building use is approved by the Session/Trustees, the church office and sexton will be notified by Clerk of Session.
    4. The following criteria will be used in deciding on permission for building use:
      1. Facilities shall be permitted to be used only by recognized organizations or institutions, not by individuals or informal groups.
      2. Only organizations and institutions whose purpose is religious, or in the recreational, social service, cultural, educational, or spiritual welfare area will be considered. Private profit-making organizations or individuals shall not be granted building use.
      3. Requests for waiver shall be submitted to the Executive Committee.
    5. While the church does not charge rent for building use, a "facility fee" is requested for the proportionate sharing of costs (heat, light, etc.) These fee guidelines are set annually in January by Trustees. Requests for waiver shall be submitted in writing to the Executive Committee.
      1. Fellowship Hall $100.00 per use:
        1. Kitchen Not available for meal preparation--if food or refreshments are to be served, this should be detailed on the request form. Tableware must be provided by the group.
        2. Lounge $40.00 per use
        3. Meeting Room(s) $35.00 per room/per use
        4. Sanctuary Will be treated on an individual basis
      2. Requests for access to room(s) in advance of stated use time, and related use fee, shall be treated on an individual basis.
      3. Payment of the facility’s fee must be made in advance. In case of repeated use, arrangements will be made for payments on a regular schedule. If cancellation, the fee shall be returned in full.
    6. Key Fee. When a key is issued:
      1. A $50.00 security deposit will be required.
      2. The key must be returned to the church office within 3 days of the event.
      3. The key shall not be given to anyone else without consent from the church.
    7. Insurance. Proof of insurance naming First Presbyterian Church as additionally insured shall be provided to the church office within 7 days of building use approval and at least 7 days prior to the group’s use of facilities. Annually the Trustees shall set minimum level of coverage. The church may consider exempting one-time use groups from this requirement.
    8. The church will not be responsible for anyone’s property in the event of vandalism, loss, fire, or theft.
    9. Damage to church property shall be reported immediately to the office in person or by phoning 937-5419--DO NOT try to fix it yourself. The area used by the organization will be examined carefully after each use, and the organization assumes full liability for damage to or loss of property which may occur.
    10. When the church determines, in consultation with the group, that the services of the church sexton are required, the group will be charged the normal hourly fee. This fee will be reviewed and set annually in January by the Trustees.
    11. Times of use specified on the request form will be strictly honored.
    12. Building use is restricted to room(s) approved. All other areas of the building are off limits.

    FAILURE TO ABIDE BY THESE RULES AND AGREEMENTS WILL JEOPARDIZE FURTHER USE OF THE FACILITIES.

  4. Rules
    1. Equipment and furnishings of the church shall not be removed from the church property except by permission of the Trustees.
    2. Groups using the facilities are expected to straighten up after themselves and leave space as they found it, or set up as directed. Please lift rather than slide furniture if it must be moved. Please see that lights are turned off, bathrooms checked, doors locked, windows closed, and garbage removed.
    3. The following restrictions apply to all church property, inside and outside:
      1. No smoking
      2. No alcoholic beverages
      3. No drugs
      4. No gambling
      5. Where food and beverages are permitted, their use is restricted to the room(s) approved.
      6. No food or beverages in Sanctuary or Chapel
      7. No use of the church organ except by permission of the Director of Music or organist, who shall notify church office. (see also policy on organ use)
      8. Church office phone number is not to be listed for inquiries about events of outside groups
      9. Use of phone for emergencies only
      10. Do not adjust the thermostats
      11. Do not attach or fasten anything to walls, doors, Fellowship Hall sound panels, or dividers in Pentecost Room
      12. Do not move or change the partition in Pentecost Room
      13. Use only dry erase markers on white boards
    4. If key has been issued, be sure doors are locked before leaving building. Key must be returned to the church office within 3 days of the event.
    5. Requests for exceptions to any of these rules shall be made in writing to the Executive Committee.
  5. Authority for decisions about "emergency use" of facilities has been delegated to the pastor and administrative assistant.

Revised 2/16/00

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First Presbyterian Church of Corning NY