The Church of England has issued the following Press Release in response to the Government announcement on further funding to places of worship most vulnerable to hate-motivated attacks.
Places of worship Government funding announcement
Responding to the Government announcement that some places of worship most vulnerable to hate-motivated attacks will be supported with a further £1 million funding, The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, the lead bishop for the Church of England on churches and cathedrals said:
“This extra commitment from the Government is welcome, but also serves as a reminder of the real threat posed by attacks on our public spaces, including places of worship.
“Churches are first and foremost open to all, and serve their communities throughout the week in a variety of ways. The task here is to strike a balance between maintaining that accessibility, and ensuring the safety of all who attend, as well as the buildings themselves.
“Freedom to worship without fear is a fundamental right which we cherish as a nation. An attack on a place of worship, whatever faith or denomination, is an attack on our culture and values as a country. Communities must therefore work together to be vigilant, and not tolerate hate crime in any form.”
The Government announcement stated:
“Successful applicants in England and Wales will receive up to £56,000 towards improved security to counter the threat from hate crimes at their premises. Previous funding has been awarded when places of worship have been either victim to, or at risk of, a hate attack, including graffiti, the defacing of religious symbols or attacks on worshippers.
The Places of Worship Security Funding scheme, which [was] launched in 2016 and is worth £2.4 million in total, has helped 89 churches, mosques, temples and gurdwaras to install protective alarms, security lighting and CCTV cameras to deter attackers. Synagogues are covered under a separate scheme administered by the Community Security Trust.
The criteria for this year’s bids [have] been made more flexible – bidders will need to provide evidence that they are either vulnerable to hate crime or have been subject to a hate crime within the last 2 years.
Bidding for the Places of Worship Security Fund will open on 8 June 2018.”