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The Diocese of Lincoln warns of 'surge' of lead thefts from church roofs

The Diocese of Lincoln has warned of a 'surge' in thefts of lead from church roofs.

The warning came as parishioners suffered the loss of half of the lead from the roof of the Church of St Stephen in Careby, as reported last week.

The diocese says that since April, 19 churches across the county have been targeted, some more than once.

The Church of St Stephen in Careby which recently suffered a theft of lead from its roof
The Church of St Stephen in Careby which recently suffered a theft of lead from its roof

Most have been around Stamford and by the A1 corridor, with others along the A15 and A17 corridors."

An earlier spate of thefts last Autumn saw 15 thefts in broadly similar locations, bringing the total number of lead thefts in the diocese to 34.

In total, over the past ten years about one-in-eight of Lincolnshire’s churches have suffered lead theft.

The diocese says such thefts can have a 'devastating effect' on parishes as insurance does not always cover the typical £40,000-£50,000 cost of replacing the lead roof with stainless steel.

Grant funding has also become harder to obtain recently due to greater competition for it from other historic buildings.

The Diocese of Lincoln has a Church Building Team to support parishes seeking the necessary grant funding to repair roofs and fund other repairs.

A diocese spokesman said not only does lead theft cost parishioners, it also has a demoralising effect on congregations who work hard to serve local communities.

He added the Diocese is working closely with Lincolnshire police to catch these criminals and urges people to report suspicious activity using Police number 101. Further advice can be found of the Diocese of Lincoln website.

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