Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc

September 01, 2010 07:00 ET

Places of Worship May Be Easy Targets

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 1, 2010) - Thieves broke into two churches and a synagogue in Halton Region over a two-week period this summer. The suspect or suspects gained access by forcing doors or breaking windows. While they made off with some petty cash, they left items of value behind. Police believe the suspects were simply looking for collection money and warned everyone in the community to be more vigilant about locking doors and windows at night. 

Colin Robertson, National Risk Manager at Ecclesiastical Insurance, sees a larger trend and he is worried. "All too often, places of worship across Canada are perceived to be easy targets," he said. "The fact that these thieves gained access so easily points to serious vulnerabilities. This time they left computers, electronics, books and religious artefacts behind. Next time they may not."

Ecclesiastical urges all its customers to develop a Risk Management Plan that addresses the organization's exposures to break and enter. At the end of the day, no matter how big or small the faith community is or whether it is located in a small town or a large metropolitan area, the only way to minimize risk is to first identify it and then determine the best ways to handle it.

According to Robertson, an effective plan for places of worship should address such key areas as physical barriers to entry, security lighting, well thought-out landscaping and alarm systems. Preventive measures can be as simple as installing bars on windows and floodlights around the perimeter of buildings, or removing tall bushes that impede the line of sight from the street. Even small steps such as these can help avoid the loss of valuable—and sometimes irreplaceable—items.

About Ecclesiastical Insurance

Working with broker partners across Canada, Ecclesiastical insures over 50% of Canada's faith communities. The company also provides customized insurance solutions to educational institutions, retirement facilities, unique and heritage properties, registered charities and non-profit organizations, as well as select commercial enterprises. Owned by a charitable trust, Ecclesiastical is committed to protecting those who enrich the lives of others. To find out more, please visit

Contact Information

  • For information about Ecclesiastical's specialized products
    or Risk Management services, please contact:
    Colin Robertson, Risk Control Manager for Canada
    (416) 484-3984
    Ecclesiastical Insurance
    Jacinta Whyte
    General Manager & Chief Agent for Canada
    (416) 484-4900