Security inside your church

Author: Geoff Freeman

Published on: 8 October 2015

Practical advice from Norfolk & Suffolk Police for churches

  1. Lock your church at night
  2. Store small valuable items in a locked vestry, cupboard or safe when not in use during the week
  3. Altar ware – wooden or base metal substitutes should be displayed and the originals locked away. They can be returned for services and events
  4. Consideration should be given to discreetly chaining antique furniture and other valuables to floors or walls. This may not deter the determined thief but may be sufficient to prevent the opportunist criminal
  5. Wall hangings and paintings should be secured to the walls, ideally using non return security screws. This removes the ability for offenders to just lift off or unscrew items to steal
  6. Valuables should be kept in a safe or a strong room when not being used for a. Valuables, including communion plates, which are not in regular use should be deposited in the bank or kept off-site
  7. Keys should be kept by a responsible person or in a secure place away from the church
  8. The vestry should be secured by at least two good quality locks, fitted 1/3rd up and 1/3rd down on the door, this will increase the resistance of the door to leverage. All locks should conform to BS 3621, or higher, specification. Windows should have robust bars fitted
  9. All property should be photographed and an inventory kept. This needs to be stored in a safe place away from the church. All photographs must have a ruler or 50p coin in the picture to indicate size
  10. The offertory box should ideally be emptied daily. A notice should be displayed on the box indicating this
  11. Vulnerable stained glass windows can be protected externally by black powder coated stainless steel window guards

The author...

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Geoff Freeman

Parish Funding Support Officer

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