“Maintaining Meetinghouses,” Providing Meetinghouses and Other Places of Worship (2021)
“Maintaining Meetinghouses,” Providing Meetinghouses and Other Places of Worship
Church meetinghouses should be cared for in a way that demonstrates their sacred nature and purpose. Local leaders, members, and the facilities management group share the responsibility to keep the meetinghouse and grounds clean and orderly.
Members are asked to assume responsibility, along with the facilities management group, for meetinghouse cleaning and care. The primary purpose of member participation is to benefit and bless all members—including the youth and the less active—by providing opportunities to serve. It also reinforces and deepens respect for the Lord’s houses of worship.
Member participation is organized and carried out under the direction of the stake presidency. Stake and ward building representatives can be called to help teach and coordinate this responsibility. (See information about the program organization.)
The need for extensive cleaning and other work is minimized when those who use the building clean up after themselves and exercise wisdom, care, and respect at all times.
The ward building representative can organize and, where possible, supervise weekly cleaning opportunities. All members should be given an opportunity to participate in cleaning. Young men and young women are invited to participate with their families, quorums, or classes.
Young people should not be responsible for locking up the building at night or operating power equipment.
A meetinghouse may have a member closet where cleaning equipment and supplies are accessible for member use. Stake and ward building representatives can coordinate with the facilities management group to equip, stock, and maintain this closet.
Local priesthood leaders develop plans to respond to various emergencies that might occur at the meetinghouse. They use these plans to train members and refer to them during times of emergency. It is recommended to display in appropriate locations the contact information for local police, fire, and emergency medical services.
The risk of a fire is reduced when everyone who uses the meetinghouse takes reasonable precautions. The following are some suggested fire prevention measures:
Keep all flammable materials—including wood, paper products, chemicals, and debris—out of rooms, closets, cabinets, and spaces with boilers, furnaces, mechanical equipment, and utilities.
Avoid using space heaters.
Do not leave stoves or ovens unattended when warming food or boiling water.
Just as leaders keep hallways and other inside access points clear, it is important to keep outside sidewalks or pathways clear for safe entry and exit.
The facilities management group provides meetinghouse keys to stake leaders. Bishoprics distribute keys to ward leaders as directed by the stake. Each bishopric keeps a record of who has keys and can give a copy of that record to the stake building representative. Members return all keys when they are released from related responsibilities.
Money is not left in the meetinghouse overnight or unattended at any time.
Stake leaders or agent bishops consider using a schedule for meetinghouse closing times and lockup procedures. These procedures are followed each night shortly after the established closing time.
Priesthood leaders may assign individuals to lock up the building in pairs to minimize personal danger. The lockup procedure includes seeing that no unauthorized people remain in the building, turning off all the lights and temporary heating or air conditioning, and locking the doors and windows.
Church members who have key access to the meetinghouse are required to close and lock the exterior doors and all windows when they leave.
Local leaders see that computers, copy machines, portable electronic keyboards, and audiovisual equipment are stored in locked rooms or storage areas. In addition, computers and electronic equipment are marked as Church property, and a list of the model and serial numbers is kept.