Thieves take lead from Piddlehinton church

| May 17, 2010

THIEVES have stolen lead from the roof of an historic church in Piddlehinton.

Two 20-foot long strips of the metal were taken from the top of the vestry of the 13th century St Mary’s Church.

Parochial church council treasurer Gay Hanbury said the lead was taken between Sunday, May 2-9 and was only discovered when the vicar arrived to take a Sunday service.

Mrs Hanbury said: “It must have happened some time in the week.

“We only realised on the Sunday when the vicar went in the vestry.

“He said he looked heavenwards and lo there was light when there shouldn’t have been.

“People go in and out of the main part of the church every day but don’t really go into the vestry very often.”

Mrs Hanbury said felt has been placed on to the roof as a temporary measure to protect the inside of the building and fortunately nothing was damaged when the roof was left exposed.

She said: “We were terribly lucky there wasn’t any rain.

“We haven’t had the quote yet to say how much it will be to replace it but we are considering putting stainless steel up there just so no-one will want to take it.”

Mrs Hanbury said the lead is marked with invisible ‘Smartwater’ paint that can be identified by an infra-red scanner and she is hoping it will help catch the offenders.

She is also hoping someone might have seen something as the thieves made their raid on the church.

Mrs Hanbury said: “They must have been at it a quite a long time because it must have been very heavy.”

The Rev Tony Monds, who discovered the theft, said: “I was in church on Sunday evening and looked up and I could see daylight through the roof where the lead had gone.

“I’m not quite sure when it went but it’s on quite a busy corner and the church is floodlit at night.”

Mr Monds added: “It’s a very horrible thing to happen as it’s a medieval building and rain coming in could cause considerable damage.”

Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact Dorchester Police on 01305 222222.

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Category: Church Security