Hands off our church roof!

Published: 24 February 2012

A national campaign to protect Britain's thousands of churches from further damage by criminals stealing lead from their roofs was launched yesterday at St Peter's Church, Blackley.

Hands Off Our Church Roofs aims to see sophisticated electronic alarm systems installed on the roofs of churches across the country.

If triggered by movement on the roof, special sensors will set off a booming voice to take intruders by surprise, and warn them that they have been detected and that security guards are on their way. 

The campaign has been launched by leading church and heritage insurer Ecclesiastical, which is investing £500,000 of its own money to install roof alarms free of charge on some of the country’s most badly affected churches. The campaign is backed by the Church of England, the Police and the Home Office.

Starting this month, Ecclesiastical will fit alarms to churches most at risk of metal theft. Signage will then be displayed at all churches to warn thieves of the existence of church roof alarms in the area.

EIG hopes churches will purchase their own alarm systems, helping to make them as hard a target as possible for metal thieves.

St Peter’s, Blackley is located in a deprived area of the city and has suffered a number of metal thefts from its roof. The church could not afford to fit a roof alarm so Ecclesiastical has paid for one to be installed as part of the campaign.

The Diocese of Manchester recorded the highest number of church metal theft claims in 2010 and has been in the top ten worst hit areas for many years. 

For more advice on protecting your church form metal theft, click here.

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