In recent weeks security upgrades and enhancements have been added to our buildings and property. This is in response to a series of break-ins at the church over the Christmas holidays and a subsequent fund-raising campaign that brought in over $20,000 in donations from church members and friends.
The elevator has now been fitted with a lock-off key that prevents access to the second floor church offices during off hours. Elevator access to the lower level, where the washrooms are, is being maintained.
Exterior lighting has been enhanced outside the Canterbury Room, the Memorial Hall door and the Sacristy exit door, with enhancements still to come for the main church doors, the eastern face of the church, and the courtyard. Windows by the chapel and rear entry doors have been reinforced with mesh embedded glass.
Perhaps most significantly, over the summer months we will go “keyless” for all our exterior doors, requiring a card or fob issued by the office to gain entry. (Lynn our Parish Administrator will be in touch with those currently possessing keys, to provide instructions regarding the new system.) And security cameras will appear over the main entry points, which can be monitored in the office, but also from remote locations.
All this is regrettable for a church like St. Stephen’s that prides itself on openness, accessibility and inclusivity. But it is a modern-day necessity for an urban church, that we protect our resources in order that they are available for our service to the world.