Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage
Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage

Grants for roof alarms

Many lead and copper roofs have been stolen from churches across the diocese in the last few years. Parishes have faced bills of up to hundreds of thousands of pounds to cover the cost of replacement and making good all the damage.

Only a roof alarm combined with SmartWater forensic marking will give you full insurance cover for significant lead or copper roofs. This is why Archdeacons have been flagging up the importance of protecting metal church roofs and promoting roof alarms to parishes. The majority of churches which were at high risk are now protected and deterring theft – it is essential that those still at risk do the same. 

Our Information Note:

  • Highlights the theft of metal roofs as the number one security threat to churches
  • Explains which metal roofs should be protected by roof alarms and forensic marking and why – to deter theft and give full insurance cover for external metal
  • Explains which metal roofs and external metalwork can be covered by forensic marking alone
  • Gives important background information – on theft, alarms and their cost, insurance cover and general security
  • Describes the grants which can cover much or all of the cost of installing a roof alarm
  • Covers what approval and permission may be needed 
  • Gives contacts for advice from Ecclesiastical Insurance and the DAC team

Grants for roof alarms currently available:

The Allchurches Trust has awarded the Beds and Herts Historic Churches Trust the sum of £55,000 to support the installation of roof alarms. This fund will be used to give grants of up to 50% of the cost of installation to a maximum of £2,500 for each church.

In addition Beds and Herts Historic Churches Trust can offer its own grants of up to £1,000 or sometimes more depending on the location and particular circumstances of each church.

For both these funding streams see the Beds and Herts Trust’s grants web page which has a link to the application form and the contact details of the Grants Secretary.

The Diocesan Board of Finance offers grants typically of £1,000 to churches prioritised because of their circumstances. (Those churches were notified in November 2019 but please check if you are unsure if you are one of them.)

You can reclaim the VAT on at least the cost of installation from the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme if your church is listed.

The package of grants available at the moment offers a special opportunity to cover much of the costs of fitting a roof alarm. Such funding is very unlikely to continue in the future. 


Advice from Historic England on Theft from Places of Worship including metal roofs is here.




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