Fury over theft of church lead

A churchwarden who is overseeing the £350,000 restoration of a medieval church is furious after thieves made off with lead from the roof. Hundreds of pounds worth of lead was stolen from St Mary the Virgin Church in Houghton-on-the-Hill, near Swaffham, at the weekend.

A churchwarden who is overseeing the £350,000 restoration of a medieval church is furious after thieves made off with lead from the roof.

Hundreds of pounds worth of lead was stolen from St Mary the Virgin Church in Houghton-on-the-Hill, near Swaffham, at the weekend.

Churchwarden Bob Davey has overseen the church's restoration since he found it as an ivy clad ruin desecrated by devil worshippers in 1992 and is outraged at the damage.

More than £100,000 has been raised and £190,000 in lottery funding secured to restore the now Grade I listed church and Mr Davey has been made an MBE for his dedication to the task.

The criminals removed the central strip of lead from the north roof between Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Mr Davey said: "In the 15 years we have spent restoring the church we have had no problems like this at all. I am very angry, considering all the time and money we have spent on the church, that somebody would cause this kind of damage. The money to repair this will have to come out of what we have set aside to build outdoor facilities."

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Mr Davey believes the thieves may have been interrupted, which would explain why they only stole one strip of lead from the roof.

Anyone with any information should contact Swaffham Police Station on 0845 4564567.

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