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Lightning strike – Sutton-on-Sea Methodist church

Sutton on sea church


Sutton-on-Sea Methodist church is a large Edwardian church, built in 1910, in a small coastal village in Lincolnshire. The church is well supported by the local community, used for regular services, baptisms, weddings, funerals, coffee mornings, concerts and local parish council meetings.

On Friday, 15 June 2012 the church suffered a lightning strike. The lightning struck the stone tower at the church’s south east corner causing a fire to start in the adjacent timber roof. The fire rapidly spread in to the apex of the main roof destroying the top, triangular, section. The fire damaged the church’s ornate pine roof trusses and pew cushions and bibles were damaged as a result of the water used to extinguish the fire. 

Jeremy Baugh, Methodist Insurance’s Technical Claims Handler, describes how Methodist Insurance responds in such a situation. “We meet with the customer to talk about the process, explain what we are going to do and provide emergency help to protect what’s left of the property and then put in place the right team of experts to help with that specific claim.”

“The church is currently mid-way through the restoration process; we have had a structural engineer to assess the damage. As part of the restoration we have taken the decision to make the church a more flexible and modern space. For example replacing the pews with chairs and upgrading the PA system all of which will make it a more community friendly facility” explains Revered Cecil Mundy, Superintendent Minister of the East Lincolnshire Circuit.

Methodist Insurance’s Church Shield policy includes, as standard, cover for loss of income from an insured event, such as fire or flood. As Jeremy explains, “being able to use an alternative venue means that during the period of restoration and repair the church can continue to hold services and remain part of the community.”

You can find a whole range of resources to help keep your church running smoothly, in the resources section, from risk assessment forms you can download and fill in to best practice guidance for events, health and safety and fire safety. To learn more about Sutton-on-Sea Methodist church visit their website.


 

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