Thieves target village church for third time

THE future of a much-loved parish church could be at risk after thieves stripped thousands of pounds worth of roof lead for the second time in less than a year.

The thieves struck between 11pm and 11.30pm on Monday (September 5) at the Holy Trinity Church in Haddenham, stripping about 20 feet of the valuable metal from the lower north nave,

It is the second time in just six months, and the third time in two years, that the thieves have targeted the church, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and leaving sizeable holes in the roof of the 14th century building.

Parishioners fear that the regular attacks are endangering the future of the building with repair and insurance costs becoming increasingly burdensome.

A lay spokesman said: “For too long people have assumed that all is well with their church but this is not the case. Lead theft from churches is nothing new, it has been going on for more than 30 years, but not on the scale that it is today.

“There is a limit to how much can be claimed for repairs and insurance and, if we reach that limit, the church could be left needing repairs and we just don’t know where the money will come from.”

The spokesman added that professional advice had been sought and that a plan had been formulated to tackle the thefts, though the spokesman stressed that he would be keeping the plans close to his chest.

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A police spokeswoman said: “Forensics attended the scene and statements have been taken, but we would appeal to anyone who may have seen this incident or if anyone has any information to contact us on 0345 456 456 4.”