Church lead stolen for fourth time in 12 months

| February 13, 2010

Devastated parishioners are counting the cost after falling victim to their fourth lead theft in 12 months.

The latest theft at St Mary's Church, in Hallgate, Cottingham, happened between 6.30am on Saturday, February 6 and 8am the next day, when five strips of lead were taken.

It is though the theft and the damage caused will cost the church around £15,000.

Along with recent incidents and work towards preventing more thefts, the total bill stands at around £47,000.

It is believed the offenders in the latest crime climbed onto the roof and removed approximately 30 square metres of lead.

Father Paul Smith, the rector of St Mary's, said: "Early on Sunday morning, we discovered that lead had been stolen from our roof for the fourth time in 12 months.

"This is despite the security lighting, the extensive CCTV system in the village and the razor wire that has been installed to deter and catch thieves.

"Our church is an historic and important landmark in the village, but some of the lead is, itself, historic – the oldest dating from 1634.

"Loss of lead means leaks and damage to the interior of the building.

"This latest theft also led to water pouring in through the roof, which has damaged the wooden floor."

Father Smith added: "The church provides an invaluable service to the community.

"Local schools use the church for lessons and we host many weddings and public events each year.

"It's not just the church congregation who suffer when theft and vandalism occurs, it's the whole community."

DC Marc Skelton, from Beverley CID, said:

"House to house enquiries have been made.

"We are urging local communities to stay vigilant and report any suspicious circumstances to the police, however irrelevant you might think it is.

"It may help stop, prevent or identify possible offenders in your community."

Anyone who witnesses anything suspicious is asked to call Humberside Police on 0845 6060222 or, if deeme

 

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Category: Church Security

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