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Strengthening Security for Lincolnshire Churches

Churches across Lincolnshire are being urged to enhance their security measures following a series of thefts nationwide. This warning comes from specialist insurer Ecclesiastical, emphasising the need for vigilance and proactive steps to prevent break-ins.

St Mary's Church Hainton (Image: (c) copyright nationalchurchestrust.org)


In April, St Mary's Church in Hainton experienced a heartbreaking theft where a bishop's chair and two carved angels were stolen from the altar area. Reverend Annabel Barber expressed the community's sorrow, noting that these items had been part of the church for hundreds of years. “It’s very sad,” said Ms. Barber, reflecting on the loss of these historical pieces.


Security Recommendations

Ecclesiastical advises all churches to review their security arrangements while maintaining accessibility during the day. Key recommendations include:


  • Keep Buildings Open During the Day: Despite security concerns, it's important for churches to remain accessible to those seeking a peaceful space.

  • Secure Valuables: Silverware and other valuable items should be kept in safes.

  • Lock Churches at Night: Ensure buildings are secured during nighttime hours.

  • CCTV and Alarms: Modern security systems can deter theft and provide evidence if a break-in occurs.


Ms. Barber emphasised the importance of keeping St Mary's Church open during the day. "There are people who want to use the church but who don't want to come to Sunday services," she said. "If we lock the churches, then we are preventing people from being able to do that."


The first half of 2024 saw numerous churches targeted by thieves, including an incident in Birmingham where a Victorian brass eagle lectern was stolen, captured on CCTV. This shift indicates a broader change in societal attitudes toward churches.

Ms. Barber noted, “There is, in a sense, a loss … of a consideration of the holy, and the church is no longer viewed as being a particular type of special public building.”

Churches in the Lincoln diocese, especially those near main roads, face ongoing threats from theft. It's crucial for these community hubs to balance security with accessibility, ensuring they remain sanctuaries for all while protecting their valuable heritage.


As churches in Lincolnshire and beyond navigate these challenges, it's essential to adopt comprehensive security measures without compromising their role as open, welcoming spaces. By staying vigilant and proactive, we can help preserve safety of our cherished places of worship.


For further guidance on securing your church, visit Ecclesiastical Insurance.


Source: bbc.co.uk

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