Churches: Theft

Church Commissioners written question – answered on 18th July 2019.

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Photo of Oliver Heald Oliver Heald Conservative, North East Hertfordshire

To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Commissioners plan to investigate which roofing material is (a) least likely to be stolen and (b) best value; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Caroline Spelman Caroline Spelman The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Chair, Draft Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Bill Committee

Holding answer received on 17 July 2019

The Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division of the Archbishops’ Council provide advice and guidance to churches on a range of issues, including roofing materials. https://www.churchofengland.org/more/church-resources/churchcare/advice-and-guidance-church-buildings

Incidents of theft from non-metal roofs are rare, though there is a risk to some rarer types of slate or stone, which are most vulnerable when they are removed for repair.

Terne-coated stainless steel is unlikely to be stolen as it is difficult to manipulate and has a low scrap value for the work and risk involved. Metal and other material is least likely to be stolen from a church that has installed an effective alarm.

Lead is the most likely metal to be stolen due to its value and the ease of removing it, followed by copper roofing and rainwater pipes.

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