St Margaret’s Church in Hempnall, near Long Stratton, is the latest victim of lead thefts sweeping East Anglia
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Parishioners are counting the cost after thieves ripped an estimated £10,000 worth of lead from a roof, as another church is targeted in this region.
The Grade-I listed St Margaret's Church in Hempnall, near Long Stratton, became the latest victim of lead thieves during late Friday night and early Saturday morning.
They stole a stretch of lead approximately 30m x 10m in size and it has been estimated the cost to repair the roof and install an alarm system will be about £35,000.
Claire Key, who has been church warden with her husband David for five years, said she feels 'horrible inside'.
She said: 'I cannot feel angry but I do feel horrible and upset. The church feels sad. I do not know what it is, but usually our church is the most welcoming place. It is horrible for all the people of the village.'
It is believed the last time the lead was disturbed was in 1857 when the thieves took it away in a horse and cart.
Rector Michael Kingston added: 'You ask the question why and you don't know the answer to that. It has happened the challenge now is to get on and sort things out as quickly as possible.'
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Services will continue as normal but the Christmas Market on Saturday will now be held at the village hall.
Anyone with information on the lead theft is asked to call police on 101.