To combat the threat of church lead thefts the Bishop of Norwich, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, the Norfolk Churches Trust, Allchurches Trust and the Round Tower Churches Society have been working together to find a long-term solution and have created The Roof Alarm Scheme.
The former Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James said:
“The landscape of Norfolk would be spiritually flattened if we lost our wealth of medieval churches. They are better cared for than ever thanks to volunteers who worship in them regularly, raise money for the fabric and cherish these buildings. But they are under threat from lead thieves who damage the fabric, leave havoc in their wake and cause those who care so well for our churches to feel dejected and dispirited.
This roof alarm scheme is an imaginative and effective way of combating these thieves and giving heart to those who care for our churches so well. That’s why I’m glad to contribute to the scheme using trust funds available to me. I’m grateful to the Police and Crime Commissioner and the other contributors for their imagination and support.”
Without an alarm approved by insurers, many church buildings are not fully insured and parishes do not receive sufficient insurance to cover repairs if there is any damage or theft.
A fundraising campaign has also been launched and Bishop Graham and the Police Crime Commissioner are asking the public to consider contributing to install alarms on other churches by donating to the Raise the Alarm campaign. Donations can be made either online or by sending a cheque to: Finance Department at Norfolk Community Foundation, St James Mill, Whitefriars, NR3 1TN, Please reference ‘Raise the Alarm’ in your correspondence’
If you see or hear anything suspicious around a church please report it to the police. To report suspicious activity please call 101 or if you see a crime in progress please call 999.