Church security remains a hot topic and we are seeing a rise in lead thefts, again.
PCCs often don’t know what they’ve got and don’t have an inventory or photos of their valuables – church valuables should be photographed and copies kept with church wardens. A few simple pointers:
- consider removing church brass from display and if you have a theft, check eBay
- consider CCTV/church alarms – they’re not as expensive as you think. David Furnival can provide further information and guidance
- replace Victorian safes, especially if valuable silver is kept. If the silver is important, a modern safe should be installed and secured to the ground.
- guards should be installed to lightning conductors to prevent stripping of the metal.
- don’t use wall safes for monetary offerings because if they are broken into or stolen, the damage to the church fabric can be extensive. Likewise, leave any antique coffers open so would-be thieves can see the contents (which probably isn’t worth stealing)
- lock your church at night if practical and possible
- maintain a list of key holders
- security screws used to secure items so a power tool cannot easily be used to remove the valuable item
- consider covering metal memorial panels with Perspex or glass (especially if valuable or particularly old).
The charitably-owned insurers of the Church of England, Ecclesiastical, are leading the way in promoting church security. It has produced a series of helpful documents which can help churches look after themselves. These are available on the Ecclesiastical website, here.