A number of our churches have been targeted by metal thieves in the recent days. We strongly encourage churchwardens and clergy to be extra vigilant at this time and ensure that access to church roofs is restricted. Please make sure that ladders are stored out of sight and locked away, if possible. Double check that access to roofs from the inside of your church is disabled to unauthorised persons. In at least one recent case, thieves accessed the affected church roof from inside the building. Please carry out a visual inspection of your metal roofs regularly to prevent any rainwater damage. Bear in mind that thieves do not only target large metal roof sheets found on nave roofs, but also lead flashings, lead gutters and smaller roofs, such as turret roofs. Copper roofs are just as vulnerable. Remember that metal theft may not be instantly obvious, but its consequences for the church fabric could be catastrophic.
Please take your time to read the recently updated guidance on metal theft from historic buildings by Historic England, available at: https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/metal-theft-from-historic-buildings/
If you have any specific concerns about the security of your metal roofs, please contact the Church Buildings Team or your Church Insurer.