Villagers to camp outside church after criminals cause £15k damage
PUBLISHED: 08:22 14 July 2017
Thousands of pounds worth of damage has been carried out to a village church after lead was stripped from its roof.
A walker noticed All Saints’ Church, in Ham Lane, was missing a section of lead from its south aisle in the early hours of June 28.
An estimated £15,000 of damage was caused and villagers are planning to camp out to prevent similar attacks being carried out.
It is believed the thieves used a ladder to climb onto the roof before removing the lead.
Divots in the ground next to the church also indicate the material was rolled off the side of the roof.
Mark Humphries, chairman of the Friends of All Saints’, said: “It is becoming an increasingly common occurrence due to the scrap value of the lead.
“We need to ensure people are aware.
“The village puts a lot of effort into the church and its grounds, no matter if villagers are congregational members or not.
“We are all very distressed about this theft.
“In true Kingston Seymour spirit we have rallied round, made the church weather-tight, installed a roof alarm and have an organised nightly watch rota, for fear of a return visit.
“It is going to cost us upwards of £15,000 to repair and insurance for lead thefts has a £7,500 limit, so we would welcome donations and will start to fundraise soon.”
Outraged residents have offered to help by keeping watch over the church at night and churchwarden Sue Thomas praised the community’s ‘wonderful’ response.
She said: “It was discovered early the next morning by a neighbour walking with their dog.
“They left their ladder so they obviously cut the lead and then rolled it over the side.
“The whole village has rallied round. They have offered to sleep in the church at night and get security lights put in.
“It has been a wonderful response – the whole village is very indignant that this happened.”
A local builder has offered help by covering the damaged part of the roof with tarpaulin.
Although some water dripped onto some of the church pews, the building’s interior has remained unscathed.
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