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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.99

Ecclesiastical & Heritage World JTC Roofing Contractors Ltd

Halifax church and Worcester Cathedral get help from above for maintenance programmes

St Hilda’s Church in Halifax and Worcester Cathedral have taken part in a drone survey trial with specialist insurer Ecclesiastical.

St Hilda’s Church in Halifax participated in survey for specialist insurer Ecclesiastical, which has been trialling drone technology to help support its in house risk management team. The technology will give the insurer fresh insight and accurate data about the churches it insures, which will enable it to provide better and more specific advice to its church customers.

As well as benefitting its own business, Ecclesiastical has shared the drone imagery with its customers who participated in the trial. This has allowed the PCC at St Hilda’s to use the images in an application to source funding for a maintenance grant.

The Reverend Caroline Greenwood, Vicar at St Hilda’s explained: “We’ve known about issues with the church’s guttering for some time but haven’t been able to get up to the roof to inspect them properly. Now we have really clear pictures of the problem and we can submit the photos as part of our grant application and hopefully that will strengthen our case.”

Another of the trials took place at Worcester Cathedral. The use of drone technology to inspect the cathedral’s tower means that the cathedral will not have to pay for costly scaffolding and can now plan the work that is needed.

“We were conscious that parts of the tower needed to be inspected but the costs and logistical challenges of doing this meant we had not been able to do so. The imagery captured by the drone will enable us to do an initial assessment so we can prioritise future work and inspections.” Added Val Floy, chief operating officer at Worcester Cathedral.

Commenting on the trials, Mark Matthews, risk management director at Ecclesiastical said: “Churches present unique access and maintenance challenges. The use of drone technology provides access to high quality imagery and very accurate data, which can be difficult to obtain via traditional surveying methods. We can then apply our own knowledge and expertise to the results to assess the risks and provide specialist advice on how to manage these, in addition to providing an accurate building valuation.”

“The information we have gathered through these surveys has proved incredibly valuable to our church customers too and we are excited to see what else this technology can bring to us and our customers.”

For further information visit www.ecclesiastical.com/media-centre/drone-trials-2019

Drone surveys carried out by Drones on Demand. For more information on this company visit www.dronesondemand.co.uk