Anger over lead thefts at Blackburn church

| September 7, 2010

A CHURCH warden said he won’t give in to lead thieves by putting up razor wire and CCTV as it will 'make it look like a concentration camp'.

Alan Barry, 72, warden at St Francis Feniscliffe Church in Witton, told how the inside of the St Francis Road premises was ‘like a lake’ after rainwater seeped in overnight.

Scrap metal thieves had ripped up and smashed 50 slates to get to the lead flashing and gulley soakers, which they had removed from the roof and walls, leaving the building exposed.

The Vicar’s vestry and choir vestry were worst hit, flooding both rooms and damaging expensive garments and pictures.

Mr Barry made the ‘upsetting’ discovery on Tuesday morning. Police believe those responsible struck sometime between 2.30pm on Monday and overnight into Tuesday.

Mr Barry said: “No-one has respect for churches anymore. Now they are just another way of making money.

“The damage this has done to our church far exceeds what they will have got for the lead.

“It seems the only way to go is to put up razor wire and CCTV, but on a church that is scandalous. It’ll look like a concentration camp.

“This is going to cost us a lot of money and it’s a constant battle to keep asking people for more and more donations.”

Mr Barry and fellow warden Joe Felipes spent 200 hours over the summer redecorating the neighbouring church hall after that was hit by vandals two months ago.

He added: “We are determined to move forward, but we seem to take two steps forward and four back with these constant problems."

Police have appealed for witnesses to contact 0845 1 253545.

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Category: Church Security

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