Government help for Suffolk churches hit by lead thefts

James Cartlidge on Lavenham Church roof

James Cartlidge on Lavenham Church roof - Credit: Archant

Suffolk churches which have been hit by lead thieves since the summer have become eligible for financial help from a government fund after the intervention of local MP James Cartlidge.

About 12 churches in the county – many in Mr Cartlidge’s South Suffolk constituency – have been hit by lead thieves since August.

Supported by West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock and Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill, he wrote to culture minister Tracey Crouch to ask for them to eligible for help under the government’s Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund.

She has now written to say churches hit by lead thieves will now be eligible for help – providing they install suitable alarm systems.

Mr Cartlidge, who visited the landmark Lavenham Church after it was hit by thieves, said: “Since late August about 12 beautiful churches in Suffolk have been the victim of lead theft. I have seen for myself the expensive damage caused to these churches because of theft.

“This is an important change because it means that, potentially, thousands of pounds will be made available to the churches to carry out vital repairs.”

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