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Churches: Theft

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what assessment the Church Commissioners have made of the prevalence of theft of lead from church roofs; and what estimate has been made of the value of lead stolen in the last 12 months. (230723)

I understand that in 2007, the last full year for which figures are available, Ecclesiastical Insurance, which insures most Church of England churches, received 2,300 claims relating to the theft of metal from Anglican churches with a total value of £9 million. This compares with 80 claims totalling £300,000 in 2005. By the end of September this year, they had already received claims for more than £8 million so 2008 will clearly be the worst year yet for the theft of metals (predominantly lead) from churches.

This is a serious and widespread problem and the Church continues to work with insurers and the police to find a solution to it. I would draw parishes’ attention to guidance provided by the Archbishops Council:

www.churchcare.co.uk

and by Ecclesiastical Insurance:

www.ecclesiastical.com/theftofmetal