Roof alarm grants scheme for Somerset Churches extended
— 09 Mar 2020
The PCCs of Somerset Churches are being encouraged to investigate the installation of roof alarms after an unfortunate increase in the theft of lead from church roofs in Somerset over the last few weeks.
The Allchurches Trust have extended their roof protection grants scheme to install roof alarms as a response to these continued thefts.
Recently several churches have been targeted with thousands of pounds worth of lead stolen, plus damage caused to church interiors from water penetrating the stripped roofs.
It is thought the thieves are organised criminal gangs and have the capacity to strip entire roofs overnight. The PCC of one of the churches for whom we are Church Architects had been aware of lead thefts in the area and had recently sent letters to the neighbourhood to alert them to the possibility. However, only days later when the lead was stripped from ten bays of the choir vestry roof no one in the vicinity was aware of the theft due to the deadening effect of the stormy weather that night.
The grants provided by The Allchurches Trust are now available until the end of 2020 and the sum available has been increased to a maximum of £2,500 as 50% of the cost of the alarm. Churches can apply directly to the Allchurches Trust, although they are advised to apply through local group schemes, such as the one run by the The Somerset Churches Trust. The application form can be found on their website.
The Diocese are supporting Churches who need to replace stolen leadwork.
Should PCC members of any affected churches like any advice on leadwork specification or support with the faculty please get in touch with one of our DAC accredited Conservation Architects.