St Nicholas Church in North Lopham, near Diss, is latest target for the region’s lead thieves

Damage at North Lopham church caused by lead thieves. Picture: North Lopham Parochial Church Council

Damage at North Lopham church caused by lead thieves. Picture: North Lopham Parochial Church Council - Credit: Archant

A village church has become the latest victim in a long line of churches in our region targeted by lead thieves.

Damage at North Lopham church caused by lead thieves. Picture: North Lopham Parochial Church Council

Damage at North Lopham church caused by lead thieves. Picture: North Lopham Parochial Church Council - Credit: Archant

St Nicholas Church in North Lopham, near Diss, had lead stripped from part of the roof.

It is believed the thieves struck on Sunday and it is estimated the damage will cost around £20,000.

Despite parishioners being in the 15th-century church on Monday for a service and for preparation of the Knitted Bible Festival, the missing lead was not discovered until Tuesday, when sunlight was spotted through the roof.

Richard Vere, churchwarden for 35 years, said: 'Within a quarter of an hour we got a man down to cover it up. Luckily we have had good weather and there is not any damage to the inside of the church.'

The building stands on the main road through the village and is surrounded by houses and Mr Vere and his wife Jennie, who is the PCC secretary, said they were surprised the church was targeted.

She said: 'I feel sad and sick. People are angry and upset but determined not to be defeated.'

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Earlier this month, damage was caused to Blickling Church after lead was ripped from it.

This newspaper together with our sister title the East Anglian Daily Times, has a campaign to reward £26,000 for information leading to the conviction of those stripping lead from our region's churches.

Anyone with information is asked to call Norfolk police on 101.