Church faces huge bill after lead theft
WorshipPers at Old Sodbury Church are facing a bill for roof repairs of tens of thousand of pounds after thieves stole the lead.
The news is a double blow, as the church was just about to start an appeal for work to correct defective stonework to the 900 year old tower.
The church members are planning an appeal to raise money for both the lead and the tower. The total cost including vat is likely to be £90,000. Church funds and an insurance claim will only provide £15,000 towards the target, with grants and support from the local community essential for the rest.
The theft of the lead has been described as very professional, with the lead neatly cut away and the police say the possibility of finding the lead is minimal.
Richard Kingscott, a retired architect and the hon.fabric officer said: "The church is listed grade 11* by English Heritage and they will expect the lead to be replaced.
We are looking at alternatives, but this could be a lengthy process. If approval is given this would reduce our costs considerably.”
“The sad things about this matter is that the value of the lead as scrap to the thieves is only about £3,000 to £4,000, unless they can ship it abroad, but it is stealing from the whole community, as it is they who will have to find the money for replacement in some way, or the condition of the building will deteriorate rapidly.”