Thefts prompt insurance hike for church

| April 4, 2010

Insurance premiums may increase for a Norfolk village church after thieves stripped a large quantity of lead from its roof.

It is the third theft of lead from St Mary's Chruch at Gressenhall, near Dereham. Previously thieves have taken lead from the porch roof.

The raid happened between Sunday, March 14, and the next morning . It follows a similar incident earlier this month when about 40sq m of roofing lead, worth around £15,000, was taken from the roof at All Saints Church at Swanton Morley, near Dereham.

The churches are two of a string across Norfolk to be targeted by thieves with churches at Walsingham, Dersingham, Hunstanton and Wells among those being struck in recent months.

Deputy churchwarden at St Mary's Church at Gressenhall, Tim Waterfield, said the lead has been taken from the north and south aisle roofs and it was now temporarily covered to keep the rain water from getting into the building. Previously, in two separate thefts, a smaller quantity of leading was taken from the porch roof.

Mr Waterfield said that it was almost certain that the insurance premium for St Mary's Church would be increased and this money will have to be found through more fund-raising.

“It may well be that we will have to look at an alternative material instead of lead for the roof and a material that is not worth stealing. It really is very annoying,” he said.

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Category: Church Security