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Extreme weather raises the roof at Fairhaven Methodist church

Fairhaven Methodist church, in Lytham St Annes, is a large Edwardian church built in 1909.

In 2014, as the UK experienced a spell of extreme weather, a succession of major storms brought widespread damage to the UK.  On the evening of Wednesday 12 February the church’s property steward, received a call saying that the storm had damaged the church’s roof.  Inspecting the church the next day, Malcolm Taylor, the church treasurer reported “a lot of the slates had been blown off the roof. Those that were left had been loosened and the cast iron gutters had been dislodged by the winds.

Jeremy Baugh, Technical Claims Handler at Methodist Insurance explained that  “As soon as we realised the severity of the damage we immediately contacted a specialist loss adjuster at Quadra Claims Services, providing him with details of the loss and potential issues that required urgent consideration.  The most pressing issue was to try to prevent further damage to the building by falling slates and also water ingress affecting both the fabric and contents of the church.  Scaffolding was required to facilitate these emergency measures which would also be needed for the main roof repairs.  We reached early agreement to involve the services of a firm of surveyors, Ridge, to assist the customer in co-ordinating the repair works required to the building.  The loss adjuster arranged a site meeting for the following day, with Ridge also attending, to view the damage and to agree an action plan for progressing the repair works.”

Malcolm explained “ Once the roof had been made safe we were able to use it again but had to keep to one side of the church during the services because there was still water coming in.”

Talking about the church’s experience of the claim process Malcolm said “I’ve been very pleased. It’s been well handled by the contractors, appointed by Methodist Insurance, who were brought in to repair the building. I received a copy of the report documenting what was happening and felt very well informed throughout the process. It’s been resolved quickly and the claims the church submitted have all been paid quickly.”

Methodist Insurance’s Church Shield policy includes, as standard, cover for loss of income from an insured event. This covers the loss to the church when outside users with a regular booking, such as the Weight Watchers and Brownies groups, were unable to use the church and had to find alternative venue during the period of restoration and repair. 

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 Fairhaven church visit their website.


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Methodist Insurance PLC (MIC) Reg. No. 6369. Registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester, GL1 1JZ. Methodist Insurance PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, Firm Reference Number 136423.