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The Scottish Episcopal Church

churchmatters Theft of metal alert

A newsletter for the Scottish Episcopal Church from Ecclesiastical Insurance

Ecclesiastical’s figures for 2010 show that metal theft is a continuing issue for churches. Over the past four years metal theft claims from churches we insure have now exceeded £21m, with over 7,000 claims.

2011 - issue 1


Hello and welcome to church matters, the newsletter for the Scottish Episcopal Church from Ecclesiastical. This is intended to keep you up-to- date on the issues that affect you, and gives practical advice to help you with the day-to-day running of your church.

We have been tackling this problem for several years by:

• launching a nationwide awareness campaign

• sending free SmartWater kits in late 2007 to every church insured, and now offering it at a discounted rate through the Churches Purchasing Scheme (CPS)

• lobbying the police, Parliament and scrap metal dealers

• providing guidance notes and setting up a section on the website that gives guidance

and advice

• offering local risk management advice through a dedicated Risk Control Surveyor


You may not be aware that we have also recently:

• pioneered the trial of a new electronic church roof security system that is now

available through CPS (more on this inside). What’s happening now?

The epidemic is showing no signs of reducing and 2011 has not started well, with claims at a level higher than expected for this time of year. The escalation in claims is in line with an increase in the price of metals such as lead and copper recently. Metal prices are likely to rise further and experience shows that as prices rise, so do theft levels.

IMPORTANT change to our SmartWater policy condition

As detailed within our policy documents, the use of SmartWater is a current condition of insurance cover and must be used to security mark external metalwork (e.g. roofing lead). We would also strongly recommend it is used to mark portable valuable items, such as communion plate, at the same time.

Continued overleaf...

Owned by a registered charity, Allchurches Trust Limited, that makes regular donations to the Christian community and charities, Ecclesiastical has been insuring churches since 1887.

For more information about our Church Insurance and related services, please call us on 0845 777 3322 or speak to your local Risk Control Surveyor (see inside). You can also visit us at We look forward to hearing from you.

John Coates Direct Insurance Services Director

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