A VILLAGE Church with a congregation of 12 is facing the prospect of having to raise tens of thousands of pounds to replace its lead roof after thieves struck three times in two weeks.
Thousands of pounds worth of damage has been caused to the roof and porch of All Saints Church, in Barmston after it was targeted by lead thieves three times between September 8 and September 23.
Church warden of three years Rosemary Swift said: “I felt sick when I found out what had happened, especially as it was the weekend before our harvest festival.”
The harvest celebrations went ahead as planned in spite of the thefts but Mrs Swift said there was a sense of disappointment among the congregation with the prospect of applying for grants to fund a £20,000 new non-lead roof being explored.
Overnight on Friday September 8 roof tiles and stone work from the Porch of the Grade I listed building were removed and the lead peeled off, some of which was later found rolled up nearby.
A spokesperson for Humberside Police said it was believed the thieves left the rolled up lead there with the intention of recovering it later.
Between 9am on Wednesday September 12 and 11.45am on Thursday September 13 more lead from the Church porch was stolen.
And just over a week later, after an alarm had been fitted to the roof, the Church roof became the target of lead thieves.
In the early hours of Sunday September 23 thieves returned to the church and tried to steal a strip of lead off the roof but it is believed they were disturbed by the sensor alarm.
It has been estimated that the damage to the Grade I listed building will cost around £2,000 to repair, with the Church having to pay out insurance excess for every claim.
A police investigation into the thefts is now underway with a sack barrow left at the scene having been examined by forensic officers. The lead that has been removed was marked with smartwater which means it will be traceable if anyone tries to sell it to a scrap dealer.
Anyone with any information about these thefts should contact the police on the number 101 quoting crime reference numbers 1929948 and 1931960.