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Using films in your church activities is a great way of connecting with your community. Films offer fantastic opportunities to engage with popular culture, while film clips can bring sermon points to life.

Since pre-recorded DVDs, Blu-Rays and videos are intended for personal home use and not for public viewing, permission is required from the film’s producer to show a film or film scene in church. The Church Video Licence (CVL) from CCLI is a convenient alternative which covers most major film distributors.

The PRS for Music Church Licence is also needed if you show films or film scenes outside of Acts of Worship, for example, in youth clubs, social activities and outreach events, etc.

RESOURCE-MONTAGEStandard membership of ScreenVue, a website offering major movie downloads comes free with the CVL.

You can also find free resources to help make the most of movies from organisations such as Damaris Media and Ethos Media.

The terms of the CVL do not permit you to advertise film screenings outside of your church because this will be regarded as competing with any local cinemas. Nor can you charge people to see the film, though a free-will offering may be taken.

One-Off Events

If you only wish to show films for a limited period, for example during a mission week, a CVL event licence from CCLI might be a better option. Alternatively, for one-off screenings, a Single Title Movie Licence (STML) is available from the MPLC, or for titles not covered by the CVL, a Single Title Screening Licence (STSL) from Filmbank Media may provide the cover you need. The STML and STSL both permit you to charge for entry.

You’ll still require a PRS for Music licence if the film is being shown outside of your regular services.

Further Information

Fact File: Showing Films In Church

This printable PDF provides more information about the copyright implications of showing films in church.

CVL Producers/Studios

A list of the film producers and studios covered by the CVL

Single Title Screening Licence

Details of the STSL from Filmbank

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about showing films in church