Historic England’s advice on metal theft and its aftermath

Historic England has produced a new guide, Metal Theft from Historic Buildings: prevention, response and recovery. Following is a summary of the main points, in a series of verbatim extracts from the guide.



This advice note is for churchwardens, trustees, fabric officers, volunteers and owners who care for historic buildings, especially places of worship. Preventing metal theft, especially from roofs, is the priority but dealing with an attack appropriately is crucial to protect historic buildings and keep them in use.

At Historic England, we recognise the serious impact of metal theft. As well as damage to historic buildings, it causes expense, distress and frustration. Replacement and subsequent insurance can be costly.

The note deals mainly with the of lead roofs from historic churches but the information applies to other types of building and traditional metal. It is an update of our 2011 note, The of Metal from Church Buildings, and reflects our updated advice to those dealing with metal the and how to prevent it.

Historic England’s approach to metal theft

Historic England strongly encourages the use of appropriate and traditional materials for historic buildings, particularly on roofs. Changing the material of a building’s roof could detract enormously from the building’s appearance and significance and mean that it performs less well technically. This is why we start out with the position that like-for-like replacement following theft is highly desirable, with appropriate security measures.

Traditional metals, including sand-cast and rolled lead sheet, are regarded as the most appropriate for covering historic buildings due to the following reasons: Continue reading

Strasbourg upholds Belgian niqab ban: Belcacemi and Dakir

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled on two Belgian cases involving bans on wearing the niqab in public.

The background

In Belcacemi and Oussar v Belgium [2017] ECHR 655 [in French], the applicants – Ms Samia Belcacemi (a Belgian national) and Ms Yamina Oussar (a Moroccan national living in Belgium) – challenged the Belgian Law of 1 June 2011 banning the wearing in public places of clothing which partially or totally covers the face. Continue reading

Bishop of Loughborough appointed

The Prime Minister’s Office has published the following Press Release which states that The Queen has approved the appointment of the Reverend Canon Gulnar Eleanor Francis-Dehqani to the Suffragan See of Loughborough. The diocesan web site states “Guli will be consecrated as Bishop of Loughborough Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 9th July

Cake now off the Brexit menu…

…though not in the House of Lords for Pride 2017…

…but gluten-free is off the menu at Mass

Yesterday the BBC reported that the Vatican had ruled that the bread used in celebrations of the Eucharist must not be gluten-free. Continue reading

Archbishops’ Guidelines on “Choosing Bishops”

On 7 July, the Church of England published the catchily-titled  Archbishops’ Guidelines on the implementation of “Choosing Bishops – the Equality Act 2010 (Revised)” (GS Misc 1044), (produced by  the Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments and dated July 2017) which set out the processes for the implementation of the Legal Office note “Choosing Bishops – the Equality Act 2010 (Revised)” (“the Note”) which is attached to GS Misc 1044. Also pertinent is  Continue reading

Pews vs Chairs: Application of CBC Guidance

Considerations of the binding nature of CBC guidance

The Church Buildings Council (CBC) has published a wide range of valuable guidance on issues ranging from Accessibility to Working at Heights and a recent consistory court judgment has considered the binding nature of this guidance. Continue reading

“Jewish” by consent – or not? Perelman v Germany

Answer: we shall never know – or, at any rate, this case does not resolve the question.


The applicants, Bluma and Alain Perelman, are French nationals who live in Frankfurt am Main. When they moved there in 2002, they registered their residence with the local authorities and both indicated “Mosaic” in the field for “religion”. A few months later they received a letter from the Frankfurt Jewish community welcoming them as new members – which they refused. The community did not accept their objection and, as a precautionary measure, they resigned their membership with effect from the end of October 2003. The Frankfurt tax office then levied church tax on their income for the period from November 2002 to October 2003 – and they brought an action for a declaration that they had not been members of the Jewish community during that period. Continue reading