TWO lead thefts have left a church congregation with a £15,000 repair bill.
Lead thieves struck twice at St Martin’s Church, Brighouse, over the summer and, as a result of the second crime, rainwater cascaded into the newly refurbished church.
Church warden Tony Empson said: “We feel sickened. We had just completed many months on reordering the church and were so pleased with the work that had been done. Now we’re faced with raising a large amount of money for repairs to the roof which is not going to be easy in these straitened times.”
The first theft occurred in June and was spotted by the builder who had just finished working on the building. Mr Empson said: “It was only thanks to his vigilance that the theft was spotted - otherwise it could have been disastrous.
“Lead is very heavy and it must have taken a lot of time and effort to get it off the roof. Even though it was covered in SmartWater, the thieves were not deterred.”
Mr Empson said a scrap metal yard must have accepted the lead without asking questions and he called for better regulation of scrap metal dealers.
The church was again targetted on September 6 and this time water caused damage in the chancel. The roof has now been repaired using a lead substitute. l
l Proceeds from a concert by Halifax Concert Band at the church on October 15 at 7.30pm will go towards the cost of repairs. See page 20 for more details.