Pendle church left with hole in roof by lead thefts

First published in Kelbrook Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Crime reporter

YOBS have stolen £3,000 worth of lead from the roof of an East Lancashire church.

Thieves stole the lead from St Mary’s Church, in Kelbrook, and also attempted to steal copper wiring from a lightning conductor, but were unsuccessful.

It is the latest in a series of raids on churches in East Lancashire.

Church-goers are now being forced to continue using the venue with a hole in the roof until repairs can be paid for.

Bosses at the church said insurance will cover the cost of replacing the damaged areas of roof, but said there parishoners are experiencing ‘discomfort and unpleasentness’ because of the leak.

The Rev Hugh Fielden said: “You wonder what it’s all about. It’s about the price of metal going up.

“People are either greedy or strapped for cash because of credit crunch.”

He said that he was worried he hadn’t seen the end of damage: “We’re just going to battle on.

“The sad thing is, we’re waiting for the rest of it to go. It’s inevitable. We don’t have reserves. It does hurt.”

The number of churches in East Lancashire resorting to claiming on their insurance for metal thefts is on the increase.

Last year, the Lancashire Telegraph revealed that thieves have cost churches across the area more than £310,000 in the past four years.

Theft of metal has risen by 150 per cent in the past two years nationally after demand from emerging countries such as China and India caused prices to rocket.

There have been incidents at churches across the area while train lines, empty homes and even copper wiring from the Royal Blackburn Hospital have been stolen by scrap thieves.

The Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev John Goddard, said the lead thefts were a “tremendous concern” in the area.

He said: “These people in their selfishness and their criminality show no respect for these sacred buildings and by doing so cause great harm to whole communities.

“Lead thefts cause problems not just to the roofs, but also when water gets in there can be huge costs associated with putting things right.”

Comments (4)

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12:20pm Sat 27 Aug 11

DJ_Jaybee says...

Is this when you are supposed to turn the other cheek and offer them the lead on the other side?

I know they say God works in mysterious ways - but a few well placed lighting bolts would have been handy when they were on the roof.

At the pearly gates its not going to look good on your CV... but it would be nice to have some well placed pyrotechnics now and again to help restore some order when the government is so soft on criminals.
Is this when you are supposed to turn the other cheek and offer them the lead on the other side? I know they say God works in mysterious ways - but a few well placed lighting bolts would have been handy when they were on the roof. At the pearly gates its not going to look good on your CV... but it would be nice to have some well placed pyrotechnics now and again to help restore some order when the government is so soft on criminals. DJ_Jaybee
  • Score: 0

9:00pm Sat 27 Aug 11

Wetwangman says...

Yes, well said the above writer, and in all sincerity, if the scrotes are ever caught... well, they will be back on the rob within hours. With all due respect to the Cleric involved here, he is speaking lines from the legendary Postman Pat stories. Vicar... they are scum... just recognise that ! They will rob the lead off your roof even if the FT Index was running at 200 points UP ! If they could not have got to your roof that night, then they would have stolen garden ornaments. If they could not have robbed that, they would have stolen the washing, left out overnight, from your washing line. If they could not steal that, then they would take photos of your daughter undressing in the bedroom window, and sell those, and Heaven forbid if they had seen you roll up in your Land Rover, the slimy toe rags would have had that away in a minute, or less ! Believe me, Vic, there are some scumbag low lives who are not worth praying for. With the justice system this country has these days, the best you can hope for is that the bastards will drop the lead on their foot, and break their toe.
Yes, well said the above writer, and in all sincerity, if the scrotes are ever caught... well, they will be back on the rob within hours. With all due respect to the Cleric involved here, he is speaking lines from the legendary Postman Pat stories. Vicar... they are scum... just recognise that ! They will rob the lead off your roof even if the FT Index was running at 200 points UP ! If they could not have got to your roof that night, then they would have stolen garden ornaments. If they could not have robbed that, they would have stolen the washing, left out overnight, from your washing line. If they could not steal that, then they would take photos of your daughter undressing in the bedroom window, and sell those, and Heaven forbid if they had seen you roll up in your Land Rover, the slimy toe rags would have had that away in a minute, or less ! Believe me, Vic, there are some scumbag low lives who are not worth praying for. With the justice system this country has these days, the best you can hope for is that the bastards will drop the lead on their foot, and break their toe. Wetwangman
  • Score: 0

9:11am Sun 28 Aug 11

DJ_Jaybee says...

Yes, well said Mr Wetwang - if they catch them the police / courts don't do anything to discourage it - so hopefully some divine or karmic retribution gets them in the end. Or toe.

Church roof 'thieves' allowed to go free -
Three masked men suspected of stripping lead from a village church roof were allowed to go free because they could have been enjoying the view.

http://www.telegraph
.co.uk/news/uknews/2
083680/Church-roof-t
hieves-allowed-to-go
-free.html
Yes, well said Mr Wetwang - if they catch them the police / courts don't do anything to discourage it - so hopefully some divine or karmic retribution gets them in the end. Or toe. Church roof 'thieves' allowed to go free - Three masked men suspected of stripping lead from a village church roof were allowed to go free because they could have been enjoying the view. http://www.telegraph .co.uk/news/uknews/2 083680/Church-roof-t hieves-allowed-to-go -free.html DJ_Jaybee
  • Score: 0

9:20am Sun 28 Aug 11

jessjade says...

it is about time that scrap yards where made to account for every bit of scrap they buy,times date's,vehicle registration,name and address ,and photo id;s before buying,most are honest but there are one or two in clayton and accy that are not if they have no where to sell they will have no one to buy
it is about time that scrap yards where made to account for every bit of scrap they buy,times date's,vehicle registration,name and address ,and photo id;s before buying,most are honest but there are one or two in clayton and accy that are not if they have no where to sell they will have no one to buy jessjade
  • Score: 0

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