Are our ancient churches being plundered?

Theft from parish churches has been rising at a concerning rate. It is as if criminal gangs regard ancient churches as a limitless resource to be plundered at will. Thefts are not only of lead roofs and downpipes, but historic artifacts and even items such as centuries-old flagstones on approach paths.

Here is a security checklist to consider:

  1. Do an audit of the most valuable possessions in your church. What can you do to protect them? Is your insurance coverage high enough to replace them, if they are stolen?
  2. Never leave money in the church (if you must leave money at your church, make sure you have a safe that is bolted down to the floor).
  3. Keep outside doors locked when holding meetings – burglars like to get in to a building while there is a meeting going on and hide until everyone leaves.
  4. Look at the shrubs and trees close to the building – will they provide cover for anyone attempting to break in? Do not give them a place to hide.
  5. Install motion sensitive lights – thieves generally do not like to be in the spotlight.
  6. If you have a security system, make sure it is upgraded to the latest technology.
  7. If you don’t have a security system, consider installing one, ideally with monitoring.

GBSG are specialists in church security – can we advise your church? Initial consultations are free.

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