Grant for a Roof Alarm
50% of the installation cost
We aim to be able to provide a grant of 50% of the installation cost up to a maximum of £2500.
Roof Alarms are virtually 100% effective
Despite growing incidents of roof metal theft, churches with a roof alarm fitted have not been affected, and have actually deterred thieves.
How much does this cost?
We are working with E-Bound and a typical system costs around £5000. After the first year there is a monitoring cost of between £375 and £639 depending on call out requirements.
Our grant scheme:
We can provide grants up to a maximum of £2500. We have funds for the next 12 church applications and are urgently raising funds for further applications.
Be on of the first 12 churches- make an application now
Metal theft. The time to act is now!
If your church has a lead roof and no roof alarm, you need to fit one now. In the last few months alone well organised criminal gangs have stripped lead from the roofs of nineteen Oxfordshire churches (list attached). The police have caught some of the criminals, but there will be others: the scrap price of lead is almost at an all-time high.
None of the churches attacked had roof alarm systems approved by Ecclesiastical Insurance. Cover may well therefore be limited to £7,500 for damage to the roof itself and £7,500 for consequential damage, leaving the parishes to fund what in some cases might be six-figure bills.
In the face of this spate of lead thefts we are mounting an urgent campaign to help the Oxfordshire churches most at risk to fit roof alarms, whether Church of England, Roman Catholic or any other Christian denomination. This deterrent is virtually 100% effective. Thieves also attacked the roof of St Kenelm’s in Enstone but fled when their roof alarm went off. The installation cost of a typical system is about £5000 . (After the first year the annual maintenance and monitoring costs are £357pa plus £264pa for an optional guard call out service).
Our campaign aims to meet 50% of the installation cost up to a maximum of £2,500 for churches with significant quantities of lead or copper on their roofs. From our existing resources we guarantee to meet the cost for twelve churches and we are mounting an urgent fundraising campaign to fund the 50% for all the other churches in greatest need. This should enable us to maintain our normal level of grants for repairs and practical enhancements.
The nights are getting longer; we want to get most of the alarms fitted by Christmas.
Because of the urgency of the situation, we have therefore teamed up with the premier alarm company in this field. E-Bound is a family run company which has specialized for a decade in church security. It has installed over 750 alarms on church roofs and is the market leader in this field by a very wide margin. A leaflet about E-Bound’s system is here [http://www.e-bound.co.uk/Roof-alarm-FAQs.pdf]. Our colleagues in the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust have recently mounted a similar and very successful campaign with E-Bound.
You are of course welcome to seek a quotation from an alternative supplier approved by your insurers. (Ecclesiastical’s list of their approved suppliers is here [http://www.ecclesiastical.com/churchmatters/images/approved-roof-alarm-suppliers.pdf] and we will consider supporting such an installation, if that is your preference. Unfortunately, we cannot give grants for alarm systems that have already been installed.
We will generate publicity about the metal theft problem to help us raise our 50% of the money for this scheme. I hope that this will also help you to raise your 50%. Suffolk’s experience is that this is a cause which even non-churchgoers are happy to support.
Please read the detailed explanation about our scheme and submit the enrollment form. You will then receive the form on which to apply for a grant
If you have a significant quantity of lead or copper on you church roof and it is not fitted with a roof alarm, I would strongly encourage you to move before you are hit. I’m sure that the Parish and its generous benefactors can find £5,000 (only £2,500 if you elect for our grant aid), and it is a lot less than the £50-£100,000 you might be in for if your lead roofs were stripped.
To enrol in the OHCT/E-Bound scheme, just ring round your core PCC or equivalent body to get agreement to act and fill in the Enrolment Form here, then scan and email this form to E-Bound at firstname.lastname@example.org copied to email@example.com. For other suppliers, please email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org while making contact direct with the supplier concerned.
Alarms for Oxfordshire Churches. The fast track process.
E-Bound will administer our scheme, making the necessary surveys and installations and providing ongoing after care, as well as supplying copies of application forms to recover VAT, links to the HMRC site and guidance. They are very used to dealing with the Anglican Church’s Faculty System, with the Police and with Ecclesiastical Insurance.
As soon as possible after you enrol in the scheme E-Bound will come out, conduct a free survey and submit an estimate. The survey will take a few hours. Installing the system will follow as soon as possible once you have accepted the estimate and confirmed that the necessary permissions have been received. Installation may take a day depending on the size of the church. E-Bound cannot install all the systems overnight but E-Bound, we and the diocese intend to work at speed.
A leaflet about E-Bound’s alarm system is attached. The alarm does not go off every time a stray cat passes or bird lands on your roof. When it is triggered it sounds a piercing claxon and booms out a warning message that the intruder has been spotted, sets off flashing strobe lights and alerts the Alarm Centre which rings one of the numbers on the church’s nominated contact list or, if you use this service, activates an urgent visit by a guard company.
The OHCT/E-Bound process has been designed to make life as simple as possible for the PCC, and to enable economies of scale and speed. It has three stages:
Enrolment - Your PCC, or equivalent body, should agree (perhaps informally by phone) that it wants to fit an alarm system to protect the church’s roofs. It should nominate someone - typically a Church Warden- to be the contact with E-Bound and to complete the attached Enrolment Form.
He or she should do this as soon as possible and send it to E-Bound by email copied to us. Our funds for these grants are as yet limited, and it will be ‘first come first served’. Even churches, who cannot yet see clearly how they will find their half of the money are encouraged to enrol. If on the other hand you can muster 100% of the money needed, you are still welcome to use our fast track system and your installation will not be delayed by any shortage of funds at our end.
On receipt of the Enrolment Form, E-Bound will send you a Pre-Installation Pack which includes advice on precautionary steps that you can take to defend your church before the alarm is installed.
Survey and order - E-Bound will come out as soon as they can to survey the church, work out the number of zones on the roofs needing cover and issue the consequent firm estimate of cost. There is no charge for this.
E-Bound will also provide your nominee with the necessary information to
- apply for your Archdeacon’s approval (under the new simplified Faculty system in the Church of England), or the equivalent for other denominations
- fill in the application to OHCT for a grant
- place the order
On the same visit E-Bound will review your existing security precautions and advise on any further steps you can take before the alarm system is installed
Once you receive the estimate you should send in the form applying to OHCT for a grant. Funds permitting, we would hope to issue a notification of grant within 48 hours. The grant will be dependent on your receipt of the Archdeacon’s approval (or the equivalent for non-Anglican churches).
Church of England churches should also apply for the Archdeacon’s approval (preferably using the new online system). (The Application requires a formal PCC resolution committing to pay the estimated sum and the annual maintenance and monitoring costs). The Archdeacons have agreed to turn the applications around as quickly as possible).
- Installation - You should copy the Archdeacon’s approval (or its equivalent) to E-Bound who will then return to install the alarm. Once installed E-Bound will help with notification to Ecclesiastical Insurance so that your insurance cover in the event of metal theft is raised to give you full all expenses replacement cover. If your church has an approved marking system (e.g. Smartwater) and has a supply of the paint or spray, E-Bound will apply it whilst on the roofs free of charge.
OHCT will oversee the scheme and E-Bound’s performance and monitor the process at each stage.
As soon as we receive your grant application we will inform you of the level of grant we can give subject to you receiving the Archdeacon’s approval for the installation. Our Area representatives may well get in touch to see if they can give any advice.
We will pay you the promised grant by bank transfer as soon as we receive our copy of E-Bound’s invoice. Meanwhile we will publicize the threat, raise the funds to finance the scheme and keep in touch with the Archdeacons and the DAC to expedite clearances.
We are, however, an all-volunteer body and we cannot field multiple queries, which is why we have asked the experts at E-Bound to administer the scheme.
Steps you should take today
You should submit the enrolment form as soon as possible, but inevitably it will take E-Bound and us time to cover all the churches that apply.
But E-Bound recommend some simple steps you can take today to lessen the risk:
- Set up a volunteer watch scheme to cover the next few months whilst the current gang(s) are at large and prior to alarm installation. As noted above it takes time for the thieves to strip a roof which is time for someone to spot suspicious activity and alert the police.
- Display a warning notice on the church entrance and around the village informing the community that the PCC is not doing work on the roof and telling them to dial 999 and notify the police if they see men on the roof as they’re almost certainly stealing the lead! (suggested text attached) And ask your local Police Community Support Officers to include the Church on their patrols.
- Insurance-approved marking can be used on property exposed to the elements, such as lead roofs. It does not damage items to which it is applied. For further details, please contact Katie Franklin (Katie@e-bound.co.uk)
- Anti-climb paint has an appearance similar to gloss paint but it remains slippery, making it difficult for a climber to maintain a grip. The paint has the greatest deterrent effect when an intruder has to climb several feet before being stopped by a band of anti-climb paint. Axle grease is a cheap alternative!
- Remove any obvious aids to theft. Ladders, wheelie bins or trees offering an easy climb on to the roof.
- Restrict vehicular access to the site. Lock gates to isolated churches with heavy duty chains (Spelsbury having lost part of their lead now parks a tractor across the gate every evening).
Want to donate to the fund?
Abingdon Baptist Church
Awarded a grant by the OHCT of £15,000 for major internal improvements in 2014/2015