Ian Simpson, Heritage Support Officer, explains the extent of the problem and what practical steps you can take to help prevent your church being targeted:
“Lead is an integral part of the church roof, its removal can lead to consequential damage through water ingress and the costs involved in repairing this – scaffolding etc. Not only this, additional damage to the building can be caused by the act of removing the metal and by the thieves’ attempts to access and escape from the building in the process of committing the crime. It is possible that considerable damage may be caused even if no metal is taken.
This cost can run into thousands of pounds worth of damage, of which insurance does not completely cover, often only the first £5,000. Typically repair bills can be in excess of £10,000 with one particular example of a bill for £40,000! The impact of these crippling costs can cause considerable disruption to the life of the church and a serious setback to the congregation.”
The most important steps are free and simple to implement:
• Be vigilant – encourage people in the community to report any suspicious activity around the church.
• Don’t leave ladders, bins or anything else near to the building for potential thieves to climb upon.
Download the booklet (box to the right of the page) for more information on additional steps that can be taken, including installing roof alarms which have proven to be effective.