Thieves snatch £15,000 of lead off church roof

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Thieves stole lead valued at £15,000 from the roof of an historic village church.

Members of St Mary The Virgin Church at Nether Broughton now face a challenge to raise money to replace the materials.

Rainwater has been dripping through the temporary roof cover since the raid.

Churchwarden Stuart Evans said: “It was devastating when we found out the lead had been stolen.

“You do your best to maintain this old building and when something like this happens it absolutely guts you.”

The thieves struck overnight between April 2 and 10am on Good Friday.

Polythene sheets have been attached to the roof to give some cover from the elements at the church, which dates back to the 14th century.

This is the third time thieves have stolen lead from the roof since 2007.

Mr Evans said: “The lead from the whole of the north aisle was taken this time, which is a huge amount.”

It is hoped that some of the cost of repairing the roof can be borne from the maintenance fund and a diocese loan.

A programme of fundraising activities will still need to be organised, however, to replace any money used from the general fund for maintaining the building.

“We’re hoping to get the roof repaired fairly quickly,” added Mr Evans.

Investigating officerPc Kathryn Burgess said: “This happened at a time when a lot of people would have been off from work for the Easter holidays.

“If you live in the area or were there visiting over Easter please think back.

“Can you remember seeing anyone hanging around the church acting suspiciously?

“Can you remember seeing anyone on the roof or have you been approached by someone trying to sell you lead?

“If so, or if you think you have any other information that could help us, please call us and help us with our investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Pc Burgess on 101, follow the instructions to leave a message and when you are prompted, key in the officer’s identification number, 4418.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.