Published: September 13, 2010
Mean thieves steal lead from Berrow Church roof for third time

Thousands of pounds of lead have been stolen from the roof of Berrow Church in a third attack on the familiar landmark.

Thieves scrambled onto the roof of St Mary's at Berrow over the past week, removing lead guttering and causing damage to the roof, as pictured here.

Churchwarden Verity Trevor-Morgan told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "This theft came to our attention when Rev Sally Lacy took the 8am Sunday service and became aware of water running down the inside wall of the Church, the very wall that we have just completed decorating after the last theft."

"We had a theft of a large area of lead taken from the south transcept in July 2009, and again in November 2009. We replaced virtually all the lead on the roof with stainless steel, a worthless alternative that looks like lead from a distance."

"This time, the thieves were only able to take a three metre length of lead guttering, but in their effort to take the whole stretch of gutter, they have caused some damage, pulling back part of the steel roof."

She explained that the church will have to dip into its cash reserves to make the repairs, which are expected to run into thousands of pounds.

"The insurance company is only able to offer us a small amount this time as nowadays they put a limit on the amount that can be claimed in any one year."

"We really had thought that the small amount of lead left in the guttering would not be worth the effort of trying to extract, but how wrong we were."

"Whether they went up there hoping the roof was lead and so just took the little they could, who knows. The roof is now wholly steel and not lead and any remaining lead guttering is being replaced with steel so there is nothing to steal."

Inspector Roger Tolley of Burnham Police told Burnham-On-Sea.com that scrap metal dealers are being visited frequently by officers across the region to try and halt the sale of stolen lead.

Burnham-On-Sea.com also reported earlier this year how St Andrew's Church in Burnham had been attacked by lead thieves.

 



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