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Loyd Grossman fronts video urging churches to protect against "devastating" impact of arson

Sat 27 Feb 2016
By Alex Williams

Churches are being urged to protect themselves against the "devastating" impact of arson, in a new video released on YouTube.

Loyd Grossman OBE, a judge on the ITV series 'Food Glorious Food', is fronting a new campaign by Ecclesiastical which says it dealt with 129 claims for arson-related church incidents between 2010 and 2015.

The American-British television presenter features in a video highlighting the "devastating" impact on churches and offers advice for reducing the risk of arson.

It was made following an attack on the Grade II*-listed All Saints Church in Fleet, Hampshire, which suffered an arson fire in June last year.

Loyd Grossman, who is Chairman of the Churches Conservation Trust, said: "Thankfully, arson in churches is rare, but when it does happen, it can cause huge losses.

"Fire takes hold very quickly and can gut a building in a matter of hours. Churches are community led spaces. Loss of space often means loss of sense of community."

Michael Angell, Church Operations Director for Ecclesiastical, commented: "Churches can take many years to restore following an arson attack, which deprives a church and the community of their natural place of worship together with vital space and resource.

"It would be wrong to think that it is just bricks and mortar that is destroyed, although that in itself is devastating. Church records and original artefacts are often kept on site, so communities can also lose local history, unique objects and ancient records.

"We hope that Parochial Church Councils will adopt our simple and practical actions to help reduce the frequency and impact of arson attacks, which can be both expensive and traumatic for all concerned."

Listen to Premier's Alex Williams speak to Kevin Thomas from Ecclesiastical Insurance here:

Churches can find out more information by clicking here:

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