THIEVES have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage trying to steal lead from the roof a historic Bromsgrove church.
The attack on All Saints Church, Burcot Lane, which happened overnight between last Thursday and Friday, is the third lead theft in less than a year.
The damage has left the church at the mercy of the weather and comes as the building is still recovering from the previous incident which happened at the end of December.
Although the church does have insurance, the assessment of the damage and subsequent repairs is very time-consuming and there is a good chance its premiums will go up when the time comes to renew the policy.
Sue Bryant, one of the churchwardens, told The Standard: “We were up at the church on Monday with the police assessing the damage when our time could have been much better spent doing other things in the parish.
“The small amount of lead they actually got away with was probably worth about £20.”
Sue praised a lot of the people living around the church, dog walkers and revellers coming out of the Crabmill pub who had informed the police whenever they saw any suspicious behaviour.
“We are in quite an open space and thank them for keeping an eye out.
“We hope they will continue to keep a watch over our church.”
Insp Dave King from Bromsgrove Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) labelled the thieves a ‘disgrace’.
“The damage caused far outweighs the amount the lead is worth.
“We have got to get the message out there that we will catch these people and we want to make sure others think twice when they consider this type of crime.
“What has upset me most is that these people do not care for Bromsgrove’s heritage.
“There are plaques in the church remembering Bromsgrovians who lost their lives in the two World Wars and the Boer War.
“We need to preserve our history as best we can – not just for us but for future Bromsgrove generations.”
He added he would be contacting Worcestershire Regulatory Services to alert local scrap dealers to be aware the lead had been stolen and not to accept any lead they are offered which could have come from All Saints.
And Insp King urged any witnesses or anyone with any information relating to the incident to contact him on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.