Roof Alarm Scheme saves churches over £2.5 million
3 August 2018
One year ago today the Diocese of Norwich launched an innovative ‘Roof Alarm Scheme’ to help protect Norfolk’s magnificent churches from the threat of lead thefts.
Over £250,000 was raised through a partnership between the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James; Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, Lorne Green; Allchurches Trust; the Norfolk Churches Trust and the Round Tower Churches Society.
The initial hope was to install 50 alarms on church buildings. However, through generous public donations over 70 alarms have been installed on churches across the county.
The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James said:
“Thanks to the generosity of our partners and the public we are thrilled that we have been able to exceed our original target. We estimate that if lead had been stolen from all the churches that your generous donations have been able to protect it would have cost around £2.5 million pounds. We hope that we can continue to install more alarms on churches so that we can protect these wonderful community spaces for people now and in the future.”
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. This means that acts of vandalism and theft can prevent vital community activities from being able to meet in the building such as parent and toddler groups, dementia cafes, foodbank distribution and more.
The Revd Peter Cook, St Mary’s Church said:
“With the installation of a roof alarm, much of that worry has been lifted from us. Our church is protected by an alarm and our lead is now 100 per cent insured. We are, of course, all very grateful to all involved and hope that more Dioceses and local constabularies can adopt this amazing initiative, so that lead theft can finally be stopped everywhere.”