(Handbook 1 Stake Presidents and Bishops 2010 8.3.6 and Handbook 2 Administering the Church 2010 13.6.20)
Church activities should involve minimal risk of injury or illness to participants or of damage to property. During activities, leaders make every effort to ensure safety. By planning effectively and following safety precautions, leaders can minimize the risk of accidents.
If an accident, injury, or illness occurs on Church property or during a Church-sponsored activity leaders should observe the applicable guidelines listed below.
1. Render first aid. If a person needs medical care beyond simple first aid, contact emergency medical services, the bishop or stake president, and the parent, guardian, or other next of kin. In case of a missing person or fatality, immediately notify local law enforcement authorities and cooperate fully with them.
2. Provide emotional support and show empathy and concern.
3. Gather and preserve witness names and information, accounts of what happened, and photographs.
4. Fill out the ‘Incidents and Accident Report’ book. The ‘Incidents and Accident Report’ book is found in the members cleaning cupboard. A copy must be sent to the Facilities Manager as soon as possible.
5. The bishop and stake president should be notified promptly. A copy of the ‘Incidents and Accident Report’ report should be sent to the Stake President.
6. Do not encourage or discourage legal action against the Church, and do not make commitments on behalf of the Church.
If a person has been seriously injured, if private or public property has been seriously damaged, or if legal action is threatened, the stake president (or the bishop under his direction) promptly notifies the Administration office (Australia Service Centre 1300 537 248)
The stake president (or the bishop under his direction) should refer questions about claims against the Church to the Risk Management Division or the administration office.
If an accident occurs, the bishop and stake president should be notified promptly of:
1. An accident, injury, or illness that occurs on Church property or is the result of an occurrence during a Church-sponsored activity.
2. A missing person who was participating in a Church-sponsored activity.
3. Serious damage to private, public, or Church property that occurs during a Church-sponsored activity.
In Accordance with Australian WHS laws the ‘Incidents and Accident Report’ book must be filled out as soon as possible and a copy must be sent to your Stake President and to the Facilities Manager. The ‘Incidents and Accident Report’ book is found in the members cleaning cupboard.
All meeting house artwork is supplied by the Facilities Management Group. Stakes can provide funds for additional approved artwork. Only approved artwork is to by hung in meetinghouses.
For more information, links and documents pertaining to the Church Service Missionary program please visit our information page by clicking here.
For frequently asked questions with regards to this program please visit our dedicated FAQ page by clicking here.
The Presiding Bishopric has determined a minimum required level of cleanliness for a meetinghouse. The Building Quality Standards are used to determine the level of cleanliness. Your local Facility Manager can provide these standards.
Members should clean up after every use of the building. This reduces burden upon others. Cleaning equipment can be found in the Member Cleaning Cupboard.
To assist local priesthood leaders to keep track of members who have current Working with Children Check cards, statutory declarations, and other compliant documentation allowing them to work with children and/or youth the Church has developed the Child Protection Act System (CPAS). This system has automated links to access data from the local unit Member and Leader Services (MLS) programme.
CPAS also contains a record of those members who do not hold necessary documentation and a record of those who are not tracked.
CPAS is user-friendly and incorporates a comprehensive help menu and training videos. Data is entered at the local unit level where the approved documentation is scanned and attached to each member's record for on-line viewing by leaders and others approved to access such information. CPAS can be accessed here by those authorised to use it and each user will need an LDS Account to access the program.
Each state in Australia has varied and different Child Protection laws and requirements and leaders and users should acquaint themselves with these by visiting the relevant state authority website.
The Presiding Bishopric has approved electronic donations direct to the Church through BPAY. You will be able to make donations through BPAY using phone or internet banking.
For information on how to use BPAY or to have your bank account set up for BPAY please contact your financial institution.
To obtain a Reference Number for BPAY donations please contact your Ward or Branch clerk. You will be issued a Reference Number (CRN) that is unique to you. Also if you have lost your BPAY details please contact your Ward or Branch clerk to have them replaced.
Currently only donations to Tithing, Fast Offering, Ward Missionary and Humanitarian are possible through BPAY. Each of these donation categories has a unique BPAY Biller Code. Please ensure you use the correct Biller Code to ensure your donations are correctly allocated. If you make a mistake by entering the wrong Biller Code, Reference Number or wrong amount please contact your financial institution to have the donation reversed. If you let your financial institution know that you have paid the wrong biller code they should be able to reverse the donation for you.
The Church is unable to make any adjustments to these direct donations so please take care when entering the details.
Q: How do members and units obtain Distribution products?
A: There are three ways of obtaining Distribution products:
1. By internet, using the global e-store found at www.store.lds.org You will need an LDS Account to access the online store.
2. By phone, call the Global Service Centre (GSC) on this toll free number: 0011 800 8680 5650 and follow the prompts.
3. If you live in, or are visiting Sydney then you can still purchase selected items over the counter at the Distribution Services Retail Store near the Sydney temple (personal shoppers only).
Q: What is the web address for the Distribution online store?
A: The global e-store is found at www.store.lds.org You will need an LDS Account to access the online store.
Q: What does a member do if he/she does not have a credit card; can they still purchase Distribution products?
A: A credit card (or similar card such as a Visa debit card) will be required to make purchases on both the website and when phoning the call centre. There is no ability to receive payment by cheque or money order. Priesthood leaders should find ways of assisting members to make purchases when the member does not have a credit card.
Q: If I am ordering for my ward or branch how do I pay?
A: Local unit budgets will be debited for the purchases made for units.
Q: Do members and units pay for shipping to receive orders from Salt Lake?
A: No. At this point in time there will be no postage or handling fees on orders shipped in the regular way. There may be an option to expedite an order for an additional fee, but that will be by customer choice.
Q: How long will it take to receive products from Salt Lake?
A: The average time for receiving orders out of Salt Lake is about 2-3 weeks for items that are in stock. If you are planning Distribution needs for a special event (such as a wedding or first time temple endowment) you will need to prepare well in advance. Please also note that the discount for first time temple clothing will only be available by phone, and not from the online e-store.
Q: How does the sizing of Distribution clothing items work?
A: All of the clothing items sold by Distribution Services are manufactured according to US sizing standards. In most cases these differ from Australian sizing standards. This can make it difficult for Australian customers to determine correct sizing. If you are placing a phone order you can ask your customer service representative for help. The e-store will give some sizing assistance.
Q: Is there a discount on clothing and garment purchases for missionaries and those attending the temple for the first time?
A: There is a 50% discount on the first set of temple and ceremonial clothing. This extends to members and missionaries. Ordinance workers also receive a 50% discount on their first purchase of clothing required as an ordinance worker. There is no discount on temple garments.
Q: Can stakes or wards obtain fabric samples to assist in making choices for temple and ceremonial clothing?
A: At this point in time the use of material swatch samples is not approved. The e-store has some images of fabrics and styles to assist with customer choices.
Q: What if I purchase a Distribution product that is not suitable or is damaged?
A: You should contact the Global Service Centre (GSC) on this toll free number: 0011800 8680 5650. A customer service representative will be able to assist you with the process of exchange, refund or returned product information.
Q: As a leader, what can we do if we have an urgent need for unit supplies?
A: With the changes to Distribution operations, members and leaders will need to plan their needs well ahead. If you need emergency supplies contact the Global Service Centre(GSC) on 0011 800 8680 5650 (toll free) and advise the customer service representative of your needs.
Q: Can I order products over the phone from the Distribution Services Retail Store at Carlingford?
A: No, The Distribution Services Retail Store is for walk-in customers only. There is no ability to place an order to be mailed out.
Q: How do I obtain letterhead and envelopes for my ward or stake?
A: These can be ordered by calling the Global Service Centre (GSC) on 0011 800 8680 5650.
Enquiries about donations such as how much might have been paid year to date should be directed to the Ward or Branch Clerk. Corrections to donations can only be made up until the financial year end close off. It is therefore important that members review donations before the close of the financial year.
As we seek for opportunities to conserve precious tithing funds; page 164, Chapter 17 Physical Facilities in the 1st Handbook of Instructions states:
"The Church incurs substantial utility costs for meetinghouses. Although stakes and wards do not bear these costs directly, leaders should ensure that lighting, heating; air conditioning, equipment, and water are used as economically as possible. Leaders should encourage those who use the meetinghouses to turn off lights and equipment when they are not needed and to follow other energy and water conservation practices.
Priesthood Leaders and Facility Mangers should work together to find ways to conserve electricity and minimise water usage. Substantial savings can be achieved when members turn of air-conditioning, heaters and lights at the close of meetings".
Please contact your local Facility Manager to discuss initiatives that can be put in place.
For training lessons and help with FamilyHistory first register as appropriate at one of the three following links:
- Priesthood Leader: (http://priesthood.familysearch.org)
- Family History Consultant: (http://consultant.familysearch.org)
- Member: (http://new.familysearch.org)
Having registered, sign on to new FamilySearch (http://new.familysearch.org) and select the Help Centre. For additional help members should contact a Family History Consultant in their ward/branch. Global Family History Support is available 24/7 on Freecall 1800 083 293
Q: I have a question about a mission vehicle, who do I contact?
A: The Service Centre Fleet Coordinator, Stuart Cox, can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
All furnishings are provided by the Facility Management Group. Members or Priesthood Leaders wanting to donate or add furnishings should seek approval of the Facility Manager. Only approved furnishings should be installed in a meetinghouse so that it may be kept consistent with the image and respect of the Lords House.
Furnishings are to remain in the meetinghouse and should not be loaned or removed from the meetinghouse for any function or activity. An exception to this is that the Stake President may authorise furniture to be temporally relocated to an adjacent meetinghouse for a conference.
In Operation and Maintenance Bulletin #2 – March 2006 to Church Employees entitled: "Safeguarding Children and Youth", the Presiding Bishopric clarified the First Presidency letter to Priesthood leaders with regards to installing view windows.
"View Windows should be installed in all classroom doors in new meetinghouses or meetinghouse additions. If classroom doors are to be replaced as part of meeting-house R&I's (Replacement and Improvements), it is recommended view windows be installed in the new doors... No instruction has been released to systematically install view windows in all classroom doors".
For further details please contact your local Facility Manager.
Q: How do I obtain information about the Helping hands program and where can I obtain the yellow vests?
A: For further information on Helping Hands activities and to obtain the brochure about the program, please contact the Sydney Public Affairs Department on 02-9841-5425. Helping Hands vests are obtained by purchasing them from the Church Distribution Department. You either go on-line at the LDS Online Store and type Helping Hands into the search box or phone 1300 537 248 and describe your needs to the operator.
Meetinghouses are secured using Church approved keying systems. There is a suggested schedule for a Stake and Ward who should be provided keys and what level of access. The final decision is with the Stake President in consultation with the Facility Manager.
LDS Maps helps you find Church meetinghouses and provides information about local worship services. Directions, service times, and some leader information are also available.
To locate the address and location of a particular Church meetinghouse go to http://new.lds.org/maps and enter as much information as you know.
LDS Account is the main sign-in account for many online Church resources, including the Child Protection Act System (CPAS) and also for leaders to order unit supplies online.
To register for an LDS Account go to http://ldsaccount.lds.org and select register for an LDS Account. You will need your Church membership record number and confirmation date. If you have an existing LDS Account and don't remember the password, go to the same website and follow the instructions at Can't Sign In?
- Meetinghouse Information
- Meetinghouse Utilization
- Member Participation Program
- Missionary Travel
- Non-Members Using Meetinghouses
The Facility Management Group oversees maintenance of all meetinghouses.
In the Church Handbook of Instructions Book 1, Section 17 Physical Facilities, pages 163 and 164 under the sections of "Bishopric" and "Members" is states:
"They organise member participation in meetinghouse care and maintenance, making assignments as needed". Further; "Priesthood leaders should emphasise that member participation is a key factor in meetinghouse care and maintenance. Members are encouraged to provide individual or group services, depending on their skills and abilities".
President Hinckley taught that our meetinghouses are to portray a standard of respect and dignity. We have found where Stakes, Districts, Wards and Branches identify skilled members, and call upon them as needed to do repairs, there is great success.
Your local Facility Manager can provide further training on specific activities that may require only licensed tradespeople to carry out work.
We have learnt that great respect and blessings can come from providing service to the Lord's meetinghouses.
Please see our Meetinghouse Information page for downloadble pdf resources.
A twelve step guide has been implemented to help Priesthood Leaders and Facility Managers house newly created units or provide additional space for wards/branches that have outgrown the meetinghouse they occupy. They are as follows in order of preference:
- Is there space available for an additional unit in a meetinghouses in the Stake within reasonable travel time.
- If space is available in the Stake, but not within reasonable travel time, can wards be cascaded so all can be accommodated within reasonable travel time.
- Are all meetinghouses in the adjoining Stake (within reasonable travel time) fully utilised.
- If space is available in the Stake or an adjoining Stake but is outside reasonable travel time, can wards be cascaded between Stakes so all can be accommodated within reasonable travel time.
- Are all rooms in the existing meetinghouse being utilised for classrooms i.e.: Bishops office, stage, and kitchen.
- Where units overlap in the meetinghouse; can the 3 hour Sunday block be adjusted to accommodate the units.
- Are there plans to create new units or reorganise units so that wards can be accommodated.
- Are there plans to create new units or reorganise units in adjacent Stakes (within reasonable travel time) so that wards can be accommodated.
- Can the existing meetinghouse be reconfigured.
- Can a rental be utilised as a meetinghouse.
- Can additional space be added to existing meetinghouse.
- If all of the above options are exhausted, apply for new meetinghouse.
Please work with your Facility Managers in utilising meetinghouse space.
The Member Participation Program is a Priesthood led program, where members care for meetinghouses. It includes keeping meetinghouses and grounds clean and orderly. See "Facility Management Guidelines for Meetinghouses and Other Church Property" pages 5 & 6.
Q: If a missionary wants to depart earlier for his/her mission who do I need to contact?
A: The Stake President should email the Australia Missionary Travel Coordinator, Fiona Alexander, at email@example.com for assistance in making this request. The request will then be passed on to the Area Presidency for consideration.
Q: Who receives the actual e-ticket for a missionary to travel?
A: E-tickets are emailed to the Stake President of the missionary.
Q: How is a missionary 's family notified about missionary return travel home?
A: Return travel is coordinated by the office in the mission in which the missionary is serving. Travel arrangements will come from the mission office.
On rare occasions the stake president may authorise credible, non- Church, non profit groups to use a meetinghouse or its grounds temporarily" - 'Facility Management Guidelines for Meetinghouses and Other Church Property' page 2. Please see your Facility Manager for further details.
- Occupational Health & Safety
- Old Meetinghouses
- Ordering New Cheque Books, Deposit Books or Deposit Bags
Please click here to view/download a copy of the Occupational Health & Safety Priesthood Leader Handbook
The handbook contains excerpts from:
- Stake Presidents and Bishops Handbook 1: 2010
- Administering the Church Handbook 2: 2010
- Facilities Management Guidelines for Meetinghouses and Other Church Property (outside the United States and Canada)
The Physical Facilities Department has the following criteria regarding meetinghouses:
"Older buildings are architectural examples of their time and need not be remodelled to look like modern meetinghouses." (Facilities Management Guidelines for Meetinghouses and Other church Property", page 6)
Meetinghouses are regularly maintained to extend the life and performance of building systems, components and finishes. Meetinghouses should not be renovated or improved to match design, appearance, or functionality features of the latest meetinghouse standard plans. The replacement standards determine when to replace building components. Meetinghouses should be disposed of only when no longer needed and/or when it is no longer cost effective to keep the facility in use."
"Members of the stake presidency ensure that Church facilities are appropriately used, cared for, and protected. They teach leaders and members their responsibility for using and caring for these facilities" (Church Handbook of Instructions- Book 1 p 163, Stake Presidency)
Facility Managers can provide further instruction and training
Cheque books, deposit books and deposit bags can be ordered by phone, by email or by edoc. To order by phone, please call the GSC (Global Service Centre) on 0011 800 8680 5650.
To order by email, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
To order by Edoc please send us a message from MLS. Please plan ahead and order your replacement cheque and deposit books before the old ones completely run out. You will need to let us know which unit is making the request and in the case of deposit books and deposit bags you will need to let us know which bank (CBA, ANZ or Westpac) your unit deposits with. The cheque books, deposit books and deposit bags will be sent to the Bishop or Branch President.
Please see our Meetinghouse Information page for downloadble pdf resources.
The Facility Management Group provides display boards for hanging of pictures for display. Tape and pins should never be used to fix pictures or cut outs to walls at any times. In a letter from the Area Presidency dated March 2006 it stated; "We request that no adhesive tape be used on any surface. If there is insufficient pin boards provided for a lesson, non oily adhesive such as yellow tack may be used, but must be removed immediately following the lesson".
When organizing activities we are sometimes asked to provide a certificate of currency for public liability insurance. This can be obtained by calling the GSC (Global Service Centre) on 0011 800 8680 5650 or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. To issue a certificate of currency we require the following information:
- Name of the organization or individual requiring the certificate of currency (Owner of facility)
- Name of the Ward/Branch/Stake/District holding the activity
- Address of the facility
- Date of the activity
- Type of activity
- Amount of insurance required
- An email address to send the certificate to
In the Pacific Area News for Priesthood Leaders, volume 1, issue 4, August 2009; it stated;
The following qualification criteria and guidelines are approved by the Area Presidency:
Utilization: Before requesting additional facilities, stake* presidencies, in consultation with Area Presidencies as needed, are to use avail-able meetinghouse space that is within adjoining stakes and within a reasonable member travel time from the proposed meetinghouse site.
Member travel time: Defined as 30 minutes by private vehicle in Australia and New Zealand and 30 minutes walking in the majority of the pacific islands, however in some pacific cities the vehicle rule may apply.
Unit Attendance: A minimum of 50 average sacrament meeting attendance over 4 consecutive quarters is required to qualify for a standard plan meetinghouse. Threshold attendances have been set for each phase of the standard plan.
Tithing: The percentage of active full-tithe-paying adults in the unit and the stake must be equal to or greater than 80 percent of this same average for the country.
Meetinghouse Cleaning Standard: A member cleaning standard of 2.5 average for all meetinghouses within the Stake over 4 consecutive quarters and a Stake Physical Facilities Representative and Ward Building Representative called.
Rental Accommodation: Units with a minimum of 30 average sacrament meeting attendance over 4 consecutive quarters may use rented meetinghouse facilities. Units below 30 may use homes or a Sunday only rental.
Remote Meetinghouses: Units in remote areas with a minimum of 30 average sacrament meeting attendances over 4 consecutive quarters and where no adequate rental accommodation is available. This facility can accommodate attendances of up to 80, which would be required before a standard plan meetinghouse is considered in such remote areas.
Stake Centres: A stake centre may be requested in the annual plan when the stake needs meetinghouse space for ward meetings as well as for stake offices, meetings, and activities. If a stake does not need an additional ward-size meetinghouse because it has sufficient space to accommodate all of its units, but the stake's existing facilities are inadequate for stake offices, meetings, and activities, additional space may be provided by sharing, leasing, or adding onto an existing building rather than constructing a new stake centre.
Meetinghouse Construction, Rentals, and Purchases: When a meetinghouse is needed, it will be either, constructed, purchased and remodelled, or rented, whichever option is best for the existing conditions and circumstances. Factors to be taken into consideration when making this decision include attendance stability, growth, unit size, availability and cost of land, and the availability and cost of rented or purchased facilities.
New Construction: Priority should be given to projects that will immediately house two church units upon completion or will relieve existing meetinghouses currently over capacity.
Real Estate: Purchase sites where there are needs that will immediately qualify for construction or will be needed for construction within 24 months.
Replacement & Improvements: Undertake only those projects that are essential in maintaining or providing for health and life-safety, preserve asset value or are required by regulation or code. Valid Replacement or Improvement projects that do not meet the above criteria will be prioritized for consideration on a future annual plan.
Your local Facilities Manager or Service Centre personnel are available to help identify new meetinghouse needs and/or review the above criteria and guidelines.
- Records Management
- Renting Facilities
- Replacing Items & Components
- Requesting a copy of a Patriarchal Blessing or Priesthood Line of Authority
Church leaders should make effective records management a part of their record-keeping procedures. This includes the proper protection, retention, and disposition of all Church records.
All information should be protected against unauthorised access, change, destruction, or disclosure. Church records, reports, and backup copies of computer software programs and data should be kept in a safe place. Password features of Church record keeping systems on computers should be used and passwords should be changed periodically.
Records should be kept only as long as they are needed for administrative and legal purposes. Currently the Church requires local unit financial records be retained for 7 years.
Records that are outdated or no longer needed should be destroyed in such a way that the information cannot be retrieved or reconstructed. It is recommended that these records be destroyed by shredding or burning. Records that have potential historical value should not be discarded, destroyed, or placed in the meetinghouse library. These records should be sent to the Finance and Records Department.
"Alternative facilities may be rented or leased at Church expense when available meetinghouses will not (1) adequately accommodate wards during a meetinghouse renovation or (2) support a stake activity that is generally conducted in a stake centre, such as stake conference or indoor sports. Stake leaders must submit a completed Request for Rental or Lease of meetinghouse Facilities form to the Facilities Management department. This form is available from the facilities manager"; Facilities Management Guidelines for Meetinghouses and other Church Property page 8.
Please note that with the introduction of webcasting our Area Presidency is asking that all members meet in dedicated meetinghouses; if all wards cannot fit in the designated Stake Centre then webcasting between meetinghouses should be used.
In the "Facilities Management Guidelines for Meetinghouses and other Church Property", page 6 under the heading of 'Replacements and Improvements' it states:
"Meetinghouse components and furnishings are replaced according to the Replacement and Improvement Standards. Proposals are verified through on site inspections by others, including an authorized representative of the Stake Presidency".
We have found over the years the most successful plans submitted are those that have been verified on site by the Facility Manager and Stake President as the meetinghouse representatives. We encourage Stake Presidency members to take this opportunity to meet on site with the Facility Manager and apply the replacement and improvement standards from the Presiding Bishopric.
A copy of the standards can be obtained from your local Facility Manager.
To request a copy or replacement of a patriarchal blessing, go to https://apps.lds.org/pbrequest. An LDS Account will be needed to access this site.
To request a priesthood line of authority include your full legal name, birth date, membership record number (if known), the name of the individual who ordained you to the office of elder or high priest (if known), and your return address and telephone number or e-mail address . Send your request to:
- Priesthood Line of Authority
- Member and Statistical Records
- 50 East North Temple, Room 1320
- Salt Lake City, Utah 84150-5300
Or email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
In the Handbook "Facilities Management Guidelines for Meetinghouses" top of page 5 states:
"The lighting equipment and sound systems provided in meetinghouse standard plans should be used for plays and other stage productions. No additional permanent sound or lighting equipment should be installed. Portable lighting, sound equipment, and related accessories may be purchased or rented at local expense".
For further details please contact your local Facility Manager.
For more information, links and documents pertaining to the role of the Stake Technology Specialist please visit our information page by clicking here.
Ward Building Representatives have the following Responsibilities:
- Assists the Bishopric in caring, cleaning and maintaining the meetinghouse
- Co-ordinates the member participation program of cleaning and minor maintenance in the meetinghouse
- Ordering supplies from the facility management group
- Council bins to be placed ready for collection and returned afterwards
- Meetinghouse safety, security and lockup procedures
- Lighting, heating and air conditioning are used as economically as possible. Teaches members to conserve energy.
- Keeps an up to date key register; a copy of which is sent to the Stake PFR. This would include details of all those who have keys to the meetinghouse.
- Takes care of building-related needs during meetings, activities and emergencies.
- Reports any maintenance or property damage to the Stake PFR
- Explains to membership the emergency procedures in case of a fire or emergency
For further information please contact your local facility manager.