The Allchurches Trust has announced a grants scheme to enable churches to install roof alarms to deter metal thieves.
Churches can apply for a grant of £1,000 towards the cost of a roof alarm system. The alarm system must be approved by their insurer, and the church’s governing body must commit to maintain the system for five years. The closing date for applications is February 28th 2107.
Metal theft has slightly reduced in recent years as the price of commodities has fallen, but it is still estimated to cost the UK more than £700m per year. Thieves looking for re-saleable materials can strip buildings of lead roofs, lead and cast iron rainwater goods, copper pipes and steel. It is not just buildings: metal thieves also steal telephone and electricity cables, railway lines, war memorials, children's playground equipment and even road signs.
Churches are particularly vulnerable because they are unguarded, and their lead roofs are a valuable target. Because church roofs are often not visible from the ground, the damage caused by thieves can remain undetected and eventually lead to major problems with water damage.
The AllChurches Trust owns the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc, the specialist insurer for heritage buildings, charities, schools, churches and other faith buildings. Ecclesiastical Insurance has a strong interest in reducing metal theft: over the past four years, metal thefts from churches insured by the company have exceeded £25m, with over 9,000 claims. The company’s website has guidance on protecting churches from metal thieves.
The mission of the AllChurches Trust is to support the Christian faith, mainly by contributing funds to support Cathedrals, Anglian churches and churches of other denominations. It makes grants totalling in the region of £10m per year.
The application form for the new grants is available from the Allchurches Trust website.