Churches have always been at the heart of communities, both literally in their location at the centre of settlements and figuratively in their ability to bring people together. Even today, as times are changing and new technology is developing, some churches are bringing people together in different ways…
Under a new agreement with the Church of England, the Government have committed to improving mobile and broadband connectivity across the UK by asking churches to allow them to install their masts on church spires and towers.
The very nature of church spires and towers make them ideal for this, standing up to 100 metres tall they are the right height to host a mast. With 65% of Anglican Churches and 66% of Parish Churches situated in rural areas, their locations too are perfect and will enable mobile connectivity and coverage in even the hardest to reach areas. This will mean that some of the oldest buildings in Britain are actually helping the future of communication and working to eradicate isolation in communities along the way.
According to the Church of England, there are already some 120 Parish Churches already hosting digital infrastructure but should your church be considering such a scheme, there are a few things to consider in terms of your Church Insurance:
- Make sure the community in the surrounding area is aware of the proposed installation and will not be negatively impacted.
- Notify your insurance company that the installation is to take place. N.B. Your Church Insurance policy will probably not cover the equipment installed. This should be covered separately by the company that owns the equipment.
- Make sure that any access i.e. scaffolding or ladders used during the installation or maintenance of the equipment does not compromise the security of the church. E.g. That unwarranted access to the building is not facilitated. N.B. Any cover you may have for Theft of Lead will not respond while scaffolding is erected around the church.
- Contractors carrying out the installation should have their own insurances to sufficiently cover them for their work.
For more information about this agreement between the Church of England and Her Majesty’s Government, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/church-spires-to-boost-digital-connectivity-in-rural-areas or click here to read the ‘Joint Accord on use of church land and buildings to support digital connectivity.’