Thieves strip church roof of lead

The church in Lindsey Picture: RHETT CORCORAN

The church in Lindsey Picture: RHETT CORCORAN - Credit: Archant

Shocked villagers hit out at thieves who stripped the lead from the roof of their historic Suffolk church.

St-Peter-s-Church-Roof

Parishioners of 16th century St Peter’s in Lindsey were rocked to discover metal measuring 4m by 6m had been wrenched from the roof.

Lucinda Salway, secretary of the Lindsey Parochial Church Council, said: “The whole village feels completely violated.

“We have had the lowest crime rates in the country and this is a peaceful village. It feels like things are now changing dramatically.

“We are all going to bed at night thinking ‘Oh God, what is going to happen tomorrow?”

Damage to the roof caused by the lead thieves Picture: RHETT CORCORAN

Damage to the roof caused by the lead thieves Picture: RHETT CORCORAN - Credit: Archant


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It is thought the lead was taken overnight on Wednesday. Villagers reported hearing noises around Church Road, where the church is situated.

One resident, Alison Taylor Sargeant, said she heard a van speed past her house on the road at about 9.45pm on Tuesday, while another neighbour, Steven Woods, said he had been woken by the sound of metal crunching in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

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Miss Salway said the full value of the stolen lead was yet to be established, but she said: “It is going to cost us thousands, I dread to think what the exact amount will be.

“They also did some damage to the slats on the roof and some of the bricks are smashed.

A section of flattened grass below the section of stolen roof where villagers believe the theft took

A section of flattened grass below the section of stolen roof where villagers believe the theft took place Picture: ALISON TAYLOR SARGEANT - Credit: Archant

“They took a huge amount of lead, I think the only reason they stopped was because it was so heavy they couldn’t possibly take anymore.”

St Peter’s church dates back to the 16th century and Miss Salway said she believed this was the first time lead has been stolen.

The last incident was more than ten years ago when someone broke in and stole a wooden chest.

The lead theft may be new to Lindsey but there have been a string of similar raids blighting churches across the county.

The exposed roof of the St Peter's Church Picture: ALISON TAYLOR SARGEANT

The exposed roof of the St Peter's Church Picture: ALISON TAYLOR SARGEANT - Credit: Archant

Earlier this month lead was stolen from the roof of a church in the Mildenhall area of west Suffolk.Suffolk Constabulary has called for rural communities to act as their “eyes and ears” and to be vigilant.

Anybody with information about the Lyndsey theft should call police on 101, quoting reference 91 of Thursday, September 27, 2018.

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