Church metal theft

14 June 2019

While metal thefts from churches have reduced in recent years the issue has not gone away and we continue to see new claims.

Stolen metal from a lead roof
The level of risk a church can face varies and we recommend all PCCs review our metal theft checklist to see if there are any precautions they can take to reduce the chances of this problem affecting you.

Top tips for protecting your church from metal theft

Lead, copper and stainless steel roof coverings, roof flashings, copper lightning conductors and lead rainwater pipes have all been targeted. Whilst world demand for metal remains strong their scrap value will continue to be high, making them an attractive target for thieves, and churches will continue to face this problem for the foreseeable future. Please review our top tips or download our detailed theft of metal prevention guidance notes below.

Security marking

Applying SmartWater to external metal (or an alternative forensic marking system approved by us) is a condition of your insurance. Please make sure you have applied SmartWater solution and registered with SmartWater and you have displayed the signs warning that metal has been protected.  For more information read our SmartWater page.

Engage with your local community

Joining the local Neighbourhood Watch scheme and urging the church’s neighbours to keep a watchful eye out for anything suspicious around the church can be a big help that costs nothing. Anything suspicious should be reported to the police straightaway and you should inform other churches in your area to put them on their guard. 

Install an electronic roof security system
Over 500 churches now have roof alarms to help protect external metal. Alarms can be virtually invisible and large roof areas can be protected cost effectively. If you install an Ecclesiastical-approved roof alarm we may also be able to increase your theft of metal cover. To find out more visit our roof alarms page.
Did you know?
If you install an Ecclesiastical-approved roof security system and have also applied a forensic marking system approved by us (such as SmartWater) to external metal, displayed signage and registered with the provider, we may be able to increase your theft of metal cover, depending on your individual circumstances.
Call us on 0345 777 3322 for more information.