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British insurers say churches safer unlocked

Churches left all open all day are half as likely to be robbed than those that are locked according to advice given to an Anglican group by insurers.

Secretary of the National Churches Tourism Group Rosemary Watts drew attention to the official guidance from Ecclesiastical Insurance: "If at all possible your church should be left open during the day for those who wish to pray or who wish to find a place for quiet contemplation."

The National Churches Tourism Group represents churches of all sizes and denominations throughout the UK.

Mrs Watts said that although it is more difficult to be open during the day in some urban areas it is possible for all churches to follow the experts' advice. In the predominantly rural Anglican diocese of Lincoln, where she is Church Tourism Officer, police figures indicate that churches which are unlocked are six times safer.

She said that the view of the Archdeacons in her diocese is that 'a locked church is a dead church'.

Speaking at the National Churches Tourism Group annual conference last November Nick Tolson of Churchwatch also drew attention to official figures showing churches are safer when open.

The Open Churches Trust, founded by Andrew Lloyd Webber, also offers advice to churches who wish to welcome visitors and will visit dioceses to assist in enabling churches to open their doors.

Independent Catholic News

National Church Tourism Group
Ecclesiastical Insurance
Open Churches Trust
Catholic Church Insurances (Australia)

13 Mar 2003