Disaster forum 2011
sponsored by ecclesiastical
Supporting over 16,000 cathedral and church buildings of The Church of England

Disaster forum 2011

Disasters: prevention and management

Report of Conservation Forum 2011, November 22, Southwark Cathedral.

The Cathedral and Church Buildings Division’s Conservation Forum 2011 considered disaster planning and recovery.


Lord Smith of Finsbury, Chairman of the Environment Agency, gave the keynote address. He highlighted the impact of climate change on church buildings


Dr Joseph Elders introduced the Church Buildings Council guidance on disaster management plans. This guidance, intended for parish churches, is applicable to any place of worship.

David Bonner from the Environment Agency, reflected on the Lewes flood of 2000, and strategies to manage future floods.

Steve Emery, English Heritage, showed how to work effectively work with the fire service before an emergency and what to expect should they attend one.

David Bonner showed the evidence for climate change and the changing weather patterns and the need for building preparedness for extremes of weather.

Simon Langdon, Director of Cedarthree, and Charles Curnock, administrator of Bath Abbey, explained the principles of crisis management. A well made disaster plan will enable a church or cathedral to respond appropriately, with the right people informed at the right times to manage the response.

Andrew Brown, Ecclesiastical, explained the range of matters that the insurers would assist with.

Robert Kilgur, Derby Cathedral Architect, spoke recovery following a fire at Derby Cathedral. The need to test and update the Disaster Recovery Plan was emphasised.

Download full report and presentations

Link to disaster management plans