Q&A’s from last year’s Workshops

The following summarizes answers to any questions or issues raised in parking lots or during presentation discussions from last year’s workshops.  The Q&A’s have been organized by topic.

Click on the question to reveal the answer.

Property Resources

At some point, every church needs a new roof, boiler or repainting. Is there a mechanism for parishes to reduce these costs through bulk purchases?

There is no mechanism available for churches to reduce costs by arranging services in bulk. The parish might consider approaching another congregation to see if they can collaborate on an upcoming project. This can be used as a bargaining tool to have costs reduced.

Is there a common plan or approved service providers list that parishes could use?

A resource was handed out at the session entitled “Parish Property Management Guide”. On pages 39-44, there is a list of tradespeople and building services providers by geographic area that parishes may consider using. It is important to note that these are not approved by the Diocesan Centre. A church could also approach another congregation within its geographic area, to find out what services they use.

Do we have guidelines for the preservation of historic buildings?

It is the policy of the Diocese not to enter into or approve historic easements without first contacting the Area Bishop and/or the Director of Property Resources. Parishes may apply to the Trusts Committee and the Diocesan Council for permission to apply for Heritage Foundation Funds. Additionally, please refer to your local municipality for further guidelines. The following link may prove useful: http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/heritage/tools.shtml

Are children and volunteers covered under the parish’s insurance policy for field trips, camping, nature walks etc.? Also, how many children should be allowed in a vehicle re field trips?

Volunteers are covered under the policies. Children are also covered if it is a church sponsored and run event.

There are no guidelines, though if a trip is being planned, it is strongly recommended that the parish contact the insurance company to ensure no surprises.  It is suggested to refrain from any contact sports or activities that could cause some sort of injury.

The Diocese does not have auto coverage in place for the parishes. It is up to the parish make the determination regarding auto insurance coverage.

The church pays for insurance coverage for church activities. If the camping or field trip is a church activity, it could fall under the coverage already in place. There are extenuating circumstances whereby the insurer could deem it necessary that additional coverage is required. This would be on a case by case basis, in discussion with the insurer.

Human Resources

Is group training available for First Aid, Health & Safety and CPR? Is it possible to get a discount for certification and re-certification?

There are various types of health and safety training available through https://osg.ca (for example, classroom, train the trainer, on site, online and group training). A church could approach another parish to collaborate or negotiate pricing.

Does the Employer Health Tax apply to the Diocese/church?

Yes. However due to the amount of your parish payroll the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemptions may not apply. Effective January 1, 2019, the amount of the annual Ontario payroll that may be exempt from Employer Health Tax is increased from $450,000 to $490,000. Registered charities including those with payroll over $5M continues to be eligible for the exemption. Please visit CRA website for more information.

Are volunteers covered under Ontario’s Health and Safety Act?

Yes. Safety is priority and all volunteers should be trained to safely carry out their work. This includes understanding, not just knowing, the hazards associated with the work and the controls in place to address them. Be especially vigilant where there are young workers providing volunteer services. Note that volunteers are not covered by WSIB.

What is the screening processing for Lay Pastors/Deacons?

The Responsible Ministry: Screening in Faith policy applies to all lay and ordained people under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Toronto. The policy establishes minimum standards for the screening of staff and volunteers. Lay Pastors are screened as volunteers. Please visit the diocesan website for more information – https://www.toronto.anglican.ca/parish-administration/screening/

When should a parish purchase WSIB?

WSIB is a government agency that provides pay continuance for employees that are injured in the workplace. Certain types of employment automatically require coverage while others do not. In the church’s case, coverage is not automatic and therefore each individual parish must make the decision to participate.

The advantages of a parish belonging to this plan are significant. Since most parishes do not provide short-term disability coverage, employees have assurance that they will continue to be paid while recovering from a WSIB approved workplace injury. Equally important, a parish is immune from an employee lawsuit related to a workplace accident from which the employee is being compensated through the WSIB.

Applying for coverage is simple. Please contact WSIB by phone (416) 344-1000, Toll free: 1-800- 387-0750, TTY: 1-800-387-0050, by visiting their web site www.wsib.on.ca, or by writing to them at 200 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3J1. You can join the plan now or at the beginning of the calendar year. The cost to participate in the plan varies based on the type of work and is set at the beginning of each year.


Are the Anglican Churchwomen a parochial organization?

Page 4 – under title Completing the Return “Do not include information from accounts where the congregation has no real authority to spend the money, e.g. ACW funds, Men’s Club, Cemeteries, etc. However, if funds from those sources are donated or are used to pay congregational expenses, they should be included on the return”

Page 6 – under Other Income – Report funds donated by organizations such as the ACW, men’s groups, etc. for general operating purposes. If the donation is for capital repairs or outreach, enter the amount on Line 313, Line 315 or Line 332.

The Handbook is located here on the website under Churchwardens Parochial Return https://www.toronto.anglican.ca/parish-administration/finance/annual-returns/

Actual Handbook here https://www.toronto.anglican.ca/uploads.php?id=4db9b234729ed


What are the best practices (or template available for IT/Data storage/Website hosting?

There are two main options for website set-up and hosting: a hosted content management system, or a separate host and content management system.

Hosted content management systems (CMS) provide website building tools and hosting through one provider. The most popular are Squarespace, Wix and Weebly. They provide web page templates and drag-and-drop tools to help you build your website. They will also host your website and may include some level of tech support. The monthly fee can vary depending on how big your website is. Hosted content management systems can be a good choice when you don’t have much technical skill.

See: Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespace vs. Jimdo

You can also choose to use a separate hosting provider and content management system (CMS). WordPress is the most popular CMS to which this scenario would apply. WordPress is a powerful CMS with many themes and plug-ins. It’s generally more powerful or robust than a hosted CMS and allows you to add more functions to your website. It also requires a bit more technical knowledge to set up and maintain. WordPress itself is free, and so are many themes and plug-ins (though not all). You would need to pay for a separate company to host your website. There are thousands of web hosts, most of which meet the minimum requirements for WordPress.

See: WordPress-recommended web hosts;How to choose the right web hosting for your church;How to choose the best WordPress hosting

If you already have a website, you already have hosting. Your church may have signed an agreement for several years of hosting services, so you’ll want to know your situation before you decide on your next steps.

Always keep your log-in information on file so that you don’t lose access to your website if someone leaves your church.