The UK’s largest insurer of Grade I listed buildings Ecclesiastical Insurance released the following statement on the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral.

16 April 2019

Mark Hews, Group Chief Executive of Ecclesiastical Insurance commented:

“It was absolutely heart-breaking to see such a beautiful, spiritually and historically significant Cathedral engulfed in flames.  Our thoughts are with the people of France as they come to terms with the damage to such an iconic building. 
 
“As a long established specialist insurer of churches and listed heritage, we have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the restoration of these very special and complex buildings.  We stand ready to join others in providing as much help as we reasonably can to support the restoration.  To this end, in conjunction with our parent charity, Allchurches Trust, we have offered to provide significant practical assistance and advice to Notre Dame during this difficult time.  Further details will follow. 
 
“In the UK, Ecclesiastical are trusted to insure much of Britain’s irreplaceable heritage and helping our customers identify and reduce risk is a fundamental part of our business.  Our in-house risk managers regularly run sessions on fire safety.   In fact, we are currently running a series of specialist fire training sessions with our Cathedral and Greater Church customers across the UK, in addition to the regular risk management advice provided to all our church customers.
 
“While major fires like this are rare, we have unfortunately seen a number of significant losses in UK churches over the years.  In the vast majority of cases, these buildings have been fully restored despite substantial damage.  We hope that this brings some degree of comfort to the people of Paris.”