Caldicot church faces £15,000 bill after lead stripped from roof
5:40pm Thursday 31st January 2013 in Gwent news
THIEVES stripped a Caldicot church roof of its lead, a month after an attempted break-in which broke a stained glass window.
The suspected £15,000 damage at St Mary’s Church comes just two years after £100,000 was spent on a new roof at the Church Road building, alongside refurbishment work.
The theft was only discovered after a builder climbed on to to the roof last Thursday to search for the source of a leak during the snowy weather.
The clue came from a large lump of lead in the churchyard, which had been ripped off along with other bits.
Church warden Pauline Hayward said: “It couldn’t have got much worse.
“They have wrecked it and it can’t be repaired – we are very angry.”
Ms Hayward said part of a window was cut out and hidden behind a gravestone in another attack before Christmas, but no-one entered the church.
After that, a decision was made to fit security lights and an alarm system at a cost of £3,500 from church funds.
Reverend Canon Lyndon Harrison said the lights may have frightened off the thieves, given the large lump of lead left behind and an earth cable partly pulled out.
He said: “This is an emergency, there’s a lot of damage to the roof to the tune of about £15,000.
“I would like the people of Caldicot to knowwhat we are putting up with.
“It’s very upsetting, not just for the people who use the church but as we have the Royal British Legion memorial here and so many people who come for funerals.”
The roof material was covered in crime prevention solution SmartWater.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.