Relief that the smoking ban will not apply to incense [ND May] could be tempered by reading the requirements of the Ecclesiastical Premises – Environmental Health Order (Ref 010407) to be laid before Parliament.

Candles. To reduce carbon emissions wax candles, including candles held by worshippers, may not be lit. They should be replaced by low energy bulbs. This will take effect on 2 Feb 2008.

Particular care must be taken in the replacement of bulbs for candles forming part of a fixed installation, for example, those sited upon an altar table. Such bulbs may only be replaced by an electrician possessing an NVQ of Level VI standard.

Communion Vessels. Individual cups must be provided. To avoid danger of injury from breakage, glass vessels should not be used. Cups must be made from bio-degradable materials and, after use, conveyed by S.O.R. approved churchwardens to a re-cycling unit.

Evacuation Procedures. All liturgies must, before they commence, incorporate building evacuation procedures to be read by the minister ‘in a loud voice.’

Incense – Safeguards in the Use of. Upon implementation of the Order the provisions of the Clean Air Act will apply to all ecclesiastical premises. Air Pollution detectors must be installed at distances no more than 10 metres apart. Any Environmental Health Officer is empowered to conduct random tests of air quality without giving notice.

Any premises found to have pollution levels in excess of those permitted by EU Directive 666/07 will be subject to immediate closure; reopening will only be permitted upon payment of a fine of £1-44 per cubic metre of infected air.

No-one under the age of 16 years shall be permitted to act as boat-person or thurifer. All permitted persons shall have attended a fire prevention course conducted by the M.O.D. Fire Services Training Centre and be in possession of the relevant certificate NO/N/CENSE.

The Archdeacon, or, in the case of non-established churches, an equivalent officer, shall require all such certificates to be made available to her at the annual Health & Safety Inspection required by the Order.

Alan Edwards