Church security

10 October 2019

Every year, one in four churches suffer from theft, vandalism or arson. Insurance provides monetary compensation, but can't compensate for the loss of a church's history.

Close up of dark wooden door with wrought iron handle

Simple security tips

  • Lock church after dark
    Unless there is a service or someone present.
  • Keep keys safe
    With an official or in a secure place away from the church. Maintain a current list of keyholders.
  • Protect high-value items
    Chain items to the floor or wall or replace items with cheaper alternatives when services are not taking place.
  • Lock away valuables/money
    Keep money, silver, brass and pewter items in a safe or in a secure area such as the church officer's home.
  • Keep and monitor all receipts for deposits
    Investigate any discrepancies immediately.
  • Divide responsibility for money
    Appoint different officials for collecting, counting and banking. Ensure no one is left alone to count money. Counting should be carried out in a locked room.  In order to reduce the amount of cash in the church suggest your parishioners make payments by direct debit.
If you feel your church should normally be kept locked, you might like to consider making the key available to visitors.
 
You could ask a local shop, Post Office or garage to safeguard the keys and take details of those visitors who wish to use them. 
 
Information about where to obtain the keys can be displayed in the porch area or on the church notice board.