Village of Rollesby feeling violated says vicar after lead is stolen from church roof

Lead has been stolen from the roof of St Georges church, Rollesby.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Lead has been stolen from the roof of St Georges church, Rollesby. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The vicar of a church which had lead stolen from its roof says the community feels 'violated' by the theft.

At some stage between 9pm on Monday, April 3 and 11am the following morning, thieves drove through the graveyard at the Church of St George in Rollesby, near Great Yarmouth, stealing what police described as a 'significant amount' of lead from the south facing roof.

The Rev Mandy Bishop, rector of the church, said the theft has come at the most inconvenient possible time and that it is sent shockwaves through the community.

She said: 'Rollesby is a small village with only around 400 houses, so the church is greatly important to the parish, as it is such a focal point.

'People not only go there to worship but it is also a place of great community significance. It feels like such an intrusion into village life.'


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While the financial impact of the theft is still to be assessed, the sentimental damage caused has been exacerbated by the thieves breaking into the grounds through the graveyard.

She added: 'One of the most devastating things about this is as we are a small village there are generations of people buried in the graveyard, most of whom will be ancestors of those still living here now.

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'The whole village feels incredibly violated by it and people just can't believe that somebody would target a church.'

The incident did, however, stir up community spirit in the village, with residents rallying in support.

'Within 24 hours of the theft, people from the community were putting up scaffolding and tarpaulin and not a word was said about charge,' Rev Bishop added. 'There is no danger of any services or events being cancelled - we are an English village - we carry on.

'However, given that the holy week is coming up, this could not have happened at a more inconvenient time.'

A police spokesman said 'a significant amount' of lead was stolen from the church - which has been a Grade II listed building since September 25, 1962 - though assessors will be determining the amount of damage done on Monday.

Anybody who may have seen any suspicious behaviour in the area around the time of the thefts should contact Norfolk police on 101.

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