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Places of worship fund

The Places of Worship Protective Security Scheme, now in its fifth year, is open for applications. It’s for places of worship such as churches, mosques, gurdwaras, temples and associated faith community centres to receive government funding to improve physical security. This can include more secure gates, locks, alarms and CCTV; not money for day to day security guarding.

The scheme started in 2016, and was simplified and expanded by the Home Office after the Christchurch, New Zealand mosque terror attack in 2019, and the amount of funding available has doubled to £3.2m from last year. More than 180 grants have been awarded – to 76 (unidentified) churches, 75 mosques, 23 gurdwaras and nine Hindu temples.

Minister for Countering Extremism, Baroness Williams said: “During this global pandemic, personal faith has been a source of comfort and strength for many. I would urge all places of worship who feel they are vulnerable to hate crime to apply for the fund, and as a government we will do all we can to make your congregations feel safe and protected.”

Groups have until 9 August to apply. Places of worship across England have been permitted to reopen for individual prayer from 13 June following discussions between the government and representatives of major faiths through the Places of Worship Taskforce, chaired by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick.

The Home Office meanwhile, as featured in the May 2020 print issue of Professional Security magazine, opened a consultation in March asking what else can be done to protect faith institutions, to see a balance is struck between worshipping openly without fear and providing adequate security measures to protect worshippers, both inside their place of worship and outside. The consultation closes on June 28.

Pictured: St Paul’s Cathedral from One New Change.


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