A recent survey of PCI’s ministers revealed that more and more congregations are sending teams on short-term overseas mission trips – which is really encouraging!
Trips don’t just happen, however, and to ‘do it well’ requires a lot of careful planning.
What many trip organizers don’t realize, however, is that, if you invite members to join a congregational or presbytery overseas mission trip that includes flights, accommodation and/or a programme, then it is highly likely that those organizing the trip will need to comply with the UK’s Package Travel Regulations (1992) and ATOL Regulations (2012).
As compliance with these regulations is compulsory and legally binding, it is vital that trip organizers understand their implications – including how and through whom flights are booked. Gone are the days when team members could all go on to the internet and try to book their flights simultaneously through ‘ridiculously low priced flights.com’.
To help those planning such trips, Global Connections, an umbrella body for mission organisations within the UK (including PCI), has provided two briefing papers that provide a useful overview of the regulations and a quick guide as to whether your particular trip falls within the legislation. They also provide guidance on what the regulations specify must be included in promotional materials and contracts.
For more information, check out:
To help get you started, pro forma Booking Forms and Terms and Conditions
are available on the PCI’s ‘Do It Well’ Mission Toolkit page.
While these regulations may seem to be a nuisance, they are there to protect both those who sign up for trips and those who organize them. Since everything we do as churches ought to be done according to the law as well as to the glory of God, why not also check out Global Connections’ ‘Code of Best Practice in Short-term Mission’ at:
PCI also provides lots of additional guidance on sending short-term mission teams through its ‘Do It Well’ Mission Toolkit.
Details on how to order the pack – along with lots of free downloadable material for adapting to your team’s own use can be found here.