Insurance: Ecclesiastical raises alarm on lead theft

The theft of lead from church roofs has increased in recent years. Ecclesiastical, a UK insurer of churches, wanted to invest £500,000 in fitting alarms to the most at-risk churches while encouraging other churches to pay for their own alarms.

Churches were encouraged to fit alarms
Churches were encouraged to fit alarms

Campaign: Hands Off Our Church Roofs
Client: Ecclesiastical
PR team: Ellipsis
Timescale: January-March 2012
Budget: £25,000



  • To raise awareness of the threat of metal theft
  • To highlight the role Ecclesiastical was playing
  • To encourage other churches to fit alarms
  • To reduce attacks.

Strategy and plan

The launch event was held at a church in Manchester to which an alarm had been fitted. Media attended an alarm demonstration. Ellipsis got endorsement from figures including Home Office minister Lord Henley and model Liz Hurley.

A YouGov survey examining public attitudes to metal theft from churches, as well as regional metal theft data, was released.

Measurement and evaluation

Coverage included pieces on BBC Radio Four and BBC News 24, as well as in the Daily Mail and Washington Post. There were more than 110 items of regional coverage.


So far, Ecclesiastical has installed a third of the alarms it wanted to fit. There were 411 church metal theft claims during the first four months of 2012, compared with 745 for the same period in 2011.

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