New bid to protect Somerset’s historic churches from thieves

PUBLISHED: 07:56 07 January 2018

All Saints' Church, in Kingston Seymour, saw £15,000 of lead stolen last summer.

All Saints' Church, in Kingston Seymour, saw £15,000 of lead stolen last summer.

Archant

Two charities have joined forces to help protect Somerset’s historic churches from thieves who target the lead on their roofs.

Crooks who help themselves to metal from churches not only do significant damage to important historic buildings, but also cost hard-pressed congregations thousands of pounds to repair.

St Andrew’s Church in Congresbury saw lead stripped from its roof by thieves in both 2011 and 2012, while St Andrew’s Church in Burnham was targeted too in 2012.

New legislation and a police crackdown has helped reduce the number of such thefts, but they still happen. Last June, Kingston Seymour’s graded I-listed All Saints’ Church saw lead worth £15,000 stolen from its roof – a crime described as ‘very distressing’ to the congregation of the 14th century church.

Now, Allchurches Trust has handed the Somerset Churches Trust £30,000 towards the cost of providing 30 roof alarms for churches across the county.

Somerset Churches Trust chairman Dr Axel Palmer said: “We are so pleased with this grant from Allchurches Trust. It really will help churches protect their vulnerable roofs.

“Part of the problem is that if thieves strike then the church may become a victim of the weather because the buildings are not watertight. And even if they are unprotected for only a short period of time heavy rain can cause considerable damage to internal decorations and contents including organs.

The Allchurches Trust charity was set up in the 1970s to promote Christian values and earns its income from businesses it owns, and last year gave more than £13million to church projects across the UK.

Chairman Sir Philip Mawer said: “We’re pleased to be helping to protect some of Somerset’s most beautiful and historic churches and applaud Somerset Churches Trust for taking this initiative.

“In our experience, installing a roof alarm not only deters thieves but acts as a catalyst, inspiring other community action in support of a local church.”

Churches and chapels in North Somerset and Somerset can now apply for grants of £1,000 towards the cost of installing a roof alarm to ward off thieves.

A grant application form can be downloaded at www.somersetchurchestrust.org

More from Weston Mercury

08:13

Runners dressed as reindeer, elves and Santas and raced across Weston-super-Mare beach in the Christmas Cracker 10k.

Read more
Weston-super-Mare
06:55

The following cases were heard at North Somerset Courthouse from November 5-14.

Read more
In The Dock
Yesterday, 20:00

Two of the West Country’s top performing choral groups will bring their melodic tunes to Weston this Christmas.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

A Cheddar school has been praised for its ‘shared vision for care and inclusion’ by an education watchdog.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Parking in Burnham-on-Sea and Cheddar will be free on the two Saturdays before Christmas.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

A Somerset village has been awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds to create a community hub after enduring months of problems.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

A plan to build futuristic magnet train between Weston and Bristol has been proposed to avoid the creation of a ‘dormitory town the size of Wells’.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:50

A blue plaque commemorating one of Weston’s most famous architects will be dedicated this week.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

More than 7,500 hoax calls were made to police and ambulance services in Somerset over the past three years.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00

Burnham’s Princess Theatre is set to get a makeover after the town council’s bid for a major Government grant was approved.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 7°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists