Alarm grants for churches to foil lead thieves

Two charities have come together to foil thieves who have been damaging historic churches across Somerset by stealing lead from the roofs.

Allchurches Trust has given £30,000 to the Somerset Churches Trust towards the cost of providing 30 roof alarms on churches across the county.

Somerset Churches Trust’s chairman Dr Axel Palmer said: “We are so pleased with this grant from Allchurches Trust. It really will help churches protect their vulnerable roofs.

“These are crimes our heritage. Part of the problem is that if thieves strike then the church may become a victim of the weather because the buildings are not watertight. And even if they are unprotected for only a short period of time heavy rain can cause considerable damage to internal decorations and contents including organs.

“I would like to hear from any church or chapel that would like to apply for a £1,000 grant towards the cost of installing a roof alarm. Download the special roof alarm grant application form which can be found on the Somerset Churches Trust website.”

“You can either send the completed form to us as a scanned attachment via email  or post it to our grants secretary, Anthony Sutcliffe, Ditcheat Hill Farmhouse, Ditcheat, Somerset, BA4 6TL.”

Somerset Churches Trust is non-denominational and gives grants to churches, chapels and meeting houses to encourage use by the local community.

Grants cover not only repair to the main fabric of the building but also improvement works such as better access, kitchens and other facilities, including toilets.

Since the charity was founded in 1996 it has given more than £700,000 in grants.

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