War Memorials
Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners
9:30 am

Photo of Guy Opperman

Guy Opperman (Hexham, Conservative)

What steps the Church Commissioners are taking to prevent metal theft from war memorials in church grounds.

Photo of Tony Baldry

Tony Baldry (The Second Church Estates Commissioner; Banbury, Conservative)

The theft of metal from war memorials is a distressing and despicable crime and an affront to the memory of those who gave their lives to the service of this country.

The Church of England has been active in its support of the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill, which will shortly have its Third Reading in the House. At a local level, the Church of England continues to offer advice and support to help churches to implement security measures that will make the theft less attractive while allowing the public to visit memorials without hindrance, and the Church is also working at local level with communities and the War Memorials Trust to preserve the names recorded on memorials and to clean, renovate and repair memorials in advance of the centenary of the commencement of world war one.

Photo of Guy Opperman

Guy Opperman (Hexham, Conservative)

All of us welcome the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill to deal with this heinous crime, but does the Church Commissioner agree that the churches themselves need to engage with local scrap metal dealers so that there is not the repetition of this offence on a local basis?

Photo of Tony Baldry

Tony Baldry (The Second Church Estates Commissioner; Banbury, Conservative)

Yes, and dioceses and churches are already doing that. Responsible scrap metal dealers should be conscious of their responsibilities in that regard as well.