You are sending a link to...
Vicars told churches should have 'bouncers' due to terror fears
From the Telegraph
Churches should have a ‘bouncer’ on the door throughout services to improve security, new counter terrorism advice suggests, as an expert has warned small parish churches are more at risk of attack that larger places of worship.
The draft 12-page guidance drawn up by an adviser to the Home Office says churches should ensure their doors can be securely bolted and recommends worshippers are briefed on what to do if they spot someone suspicious. It says churches should have “someone on the door of your church welcoming people into the building during service who can close the front door in an emergency. Make sure that someone is stood by the door before, during and after the service, whilst the congregation is present.”
The advice says: “The job of the person on the door is to delay any offenders (including those who are not terrorists) so that the police can arrive and deal with them.”
Nick Tolson, director of National Churchwatch, said: “When the French church attack happened, there was a recognition that the risk has increased. The risk is still very low, however, we need to think about what we need to do.” He said any attack was likely to target a small parish church, as seen in the French attack. He said: “It won’t be Westminister Abbey or St Paul’s, it will be a little church in Bolton or Birmingham. It’s the small churches, just like the one in France. You can walk into any church on a Sunday morning and it probably won’t be a gun, it will be a knife.”
But he said clergy should continue to wear dog collars. He said: “We advise them to have their collars on and open their churches because there’s zero evidence that wearing collars is any risk.”
The Church of England said it had not told vicars to stop wearing dog collars. A spokesman said much of the new security guidance was covered by its own advice, but it was up to individual churches to decide what was appropriate.