One hundred and eleven churches and chapels in Suffolk now have alarms fitted to their roofs. Since the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust launched the “Alarms for Churches Appeal”, it has helped treble the number of Suffolk churches with approved alarms. The alarms mean that these churches and chapels are now properly insured if their lead roofs are targeted by thieves.
When the appeal was launched in September 2015, thirty-five Suffolk churches had approved roof alarms and now, thanks to generous donations and grants, the SHCT has helped another seventy-six churches.
“The Appeal has raised £160,000 with donations of all sizes from Suffolk people, and we are especially grateful for the large donations we have received from The Lord Belstead Charitable Trust and from The H B Allen Charitable Trust”, said Martin Favell, Chairman of SHCT, “and we would like to thank everyone who has helped so far. We have already awarded grants to churches totalling £155,000. However, there are still another fifty churches without alarms that we would also like to help, and with organised metal thieves still stripping roofs at churches along the A14 corrider, there is no room for complacency.”
The Trust are also delighted, and very grateful, for other recent sizeable donations including £500 from the D.C.Moncrieff Charitable Trust, £500 from the Sudbury Decorative and Fine Arts Society and a donation of £2,000 from a charity which wishes to remain anonymous.
Some churches, who missed the initial launch, have not applied for a grant, thinking they were too late; however, Martin Favell is anxious that they do not miss out.
“We would liketo help all the remianing churches who do not yet have alarms and, if Suffolk people, who value the historic buildings that are part of their community, continue to support the appeal, we hope to be able to achieve this.”
SHCT is hoping to cover half the cost of each alarm fitted, up to a value of £2,500. This means vulnerable churches and chapels in Suffolk can continue to get the same financial support as those churches which have already been helped.
SHCT are asking churches who still need their help to contact them, and they are also asking the people of Suffolk to help with a donation, however small, either via JustGiving (www.justgiving.com/suffolkhct) or by sending a cheque, paid payable to SHCT, to The Secretary, Suffolk Historic Churches Trust, Brinkleys, Hall Street, Long Melford, Suffolk, CO10 9JR.
LATEST: The East Anglian Daily Times, with the Eastern Daily Press, are offering a reward for information leading to the conviction of the lead thieves. Thank you also to the Bishop, the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, and Adnams for contributing to a reward total of £26,000.