Building Use & Rental Information
Guidelines for Groups Using Space at St. James Church
St. James Church is happy to make meeting and event space available to the community when the parish is not using the space. The Church offers a large, airy meeting and reception area; smaller meeting space with a library atmosphere; and a practical meeting space for group sessions. The entire Church building can provide an excellent venue for intensive all-day meetings that need breakout space.
St. James also has a professional kitchen that may be used for preparing and setting out food for events. The kitchen is used in the morning hours for Essex Meals on Wheels, and is always kept in a condition that can pass a health inspection.
The fees St. James Episcopal Church charges help defray operating costs such as heat and electricity, and help fund the purchase and maintenance of useful meeting equipment and furniture.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs, and will be pleased to give you a tour of the facilities.
A Green Experience
Booking space at St. James means you will be entering a green community that recycles and minimizes waste in as many of its activities as possible. The Episcopal Diocese of Vermont has an active earth stewardship agenda, of which St. James is a part. This stewardship extends to the use of recyclable materials, minimal use of disposable items, and energy efficiency practices.
Process for Reserving a Room
The first step is to complete the Building Use Request Form, even if you are not yet certain about the dates or facilities you might need. We ask that you return the form at least 15 days in advance of the rquested date of use so that we can determine the availability of the space for your needs, discuss your needs, invite you to tour the facilities if you are unfamiliar with them, and complete the approval process.
A deposit of 50% of the agreed-upon rental fee will secure the space for your use.. The balance of the fee plus a $50 security deposit will be due 7 days prior to the event. The security deposit will be returned to you upon satisfactory inspection of the space after the event. If the initial request is received fewer than 7 days prior to the event, the full balance and security deposit will be due with your request.
Should unexpected scheduling conflicts arise (such as a funeral), St. James will immediately be in touch with you to make necessary adjustments. St. James space is typically granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and scheduling conflicts are rare.
Please Be Respectful
St. James believes in open and generous hospitality, which it freely offers in exchange for guests' respect for property and general activity of the Church.
In keeping with St. James' earth stewardship practices and its desire to keep the fees affordable for the community, we ask that after the event you:
turn off the lights when you leave,
turn down the heat if appropriate,
place all trash in trash containers,
clean up any spills,
abide by the Church's Alcohol Policy (please see below.)
To keep the facilities open and available to the community, St. James asks that you:
restrict your use of the space only to what you requested and are paying for
keep children accompanying you with you at all times.
be sure not to use any food that you have not arranged for; the professional kitchen is stocked by Essex Meals on Wheels and is not available for any purpose that does not serve the elderly and shut-in participants in that program.
A Half Day is any amount of time up to 4 hours. A Full Day is any amount of time over 4 hours. Whatever amount of time your event will run, please add in an appropriate amount of time for setting up and cleaning up.
Determining General and Nonprofit Status
Nonprofit status is determined by the Internal Revenue Service. A nonprofit organization will need to produce its IRS tax-exempt determination letter to receive the nonprofit rate.
What You Should Also Know
Tenants will indemnify and hold St. James Episcopal Church harmless for all claims arising from or in connection with the conduct or management of the premises or any business therein, or any work or thing whatsoever done, or any condition created in or about the premises during the term of the agreement; and any act, omission or negligence of the Tenant.
Please complete the Hold Harmless Agreement that is found on page 3 of the Building Use Request Form, and return it to the Church with your completed request for space.
St. James Church recognizes that circumstances change. If you need to cancel your request, this is what you can expect:
At least 8 days prior to the event, 90% of the room fees paid to date will be returned. Security deposit, if paid, will be returned.
7 days or fewer prior to the event, 60% of the room fees paid to date will be returned. Security deposit, if paid, will be returned.
Only wine and beer may be served in the Parish building. No hard liquor is allowed.
When alcohol is served at St. James, we ask that you ensure that alternative non-alcoholic beverages are also offered.
Vermont's social-host law holds liable persons who serve alcohol in such a way that results in alcohol-related incidents. In addition, Vermont's drinking age is 21. [See 17V.S.A § 501(g) and (h)]
St. James advises social hosts to be vigilant about ensuring that persons served are of legal drinking age.
The social-host law means that hosts of the event are subject to the common laws of negligence if they over-serve their guests.
A licensed bar tender is required for non-parish events.
• St. James Church and its associated buildings are smoke-free.
• Groups with youth shall provide age-appropriate adult supervision.
• Adults must supervise children who will be allowed to occupy classrooms or the nursery.
• Your group is responsible for setting up the room for your event and for cleaning and restoring it to its regular condition after you leave. If furniture is rearranged, please restore the room to its original appearance. St. James reserves the right to reduce the amount of the returned Security Deposit if it is necessary to clean and restore the rooms to their original appearance after an event.
• The Church will maintain an area for Lost and Found articles for up to 30 days.
Scheduling for Long-Term Use
• St. James offers a Long-Term Use Agreement for groups and organizations.
• Long-Term Use is defined as more than three (3) months. Because St. James Church operates on a calendar year fiscal cycle, long-term use agreements can run no longer than through December 31, at which time they may be renewed.
• These agreements will be reviewed and adjusted annually. Sub-letting space is not allowed.
• The Rector has the sole authority to grant permission to groups for the use of the Parish space.
• The Rector may delegate this authority to a Building Committee if he or she desires.
• St. James Church is a house of worship. To use the church building (narthex, nave, sanctuary, etc.) itself requires the express permission of the Rector.
One-Time Use Fee Schedule
Room General Rate Suggested Non-Profit Rate
Half Day $300 $150
Full Day $500 $250
Half Day $150 $75
Full Day $250 $125
Kitchen $150 $75
Half Day $100 $50
Full Day $150 $75