THIEVES who targeted a church roof in Wales took lead worth just £35, but caused damage that will cost 100 times more to repair.
The crooks struck over the August Bank Holiday weekend at All Saints’, Newport, taking out the flashing from a gully between two roofs. “It was a very small amount of lead,” the Hon. Priest-in-Charge, the Revd Christopher Watkins, said. “It has a scrap value of about £35, but the repair estimates are around the £3500 mark. It is really galling.
“The irony of it all is that, if it was taken because the people are hard up, we would have given them the money if they had come to us. They did try to take more, but the roof is very steep, and it has moss on it; so it is quite difficult to climb. The police don’t hold up much hope of finding anybody.”
He said that the bill was so high because the new lead had to be beaten into the correct shape, and that there was considerable damage to slates, batons, and underfelt to be repaired. There are also labour costs.
“Fortunately, there was no internal damage,” Mr Watkins said. “There was no rain overnight, and we got a temporary cover in before any rain came. Ecclesiastical Insurance have been very helpful, and we hope to get the go-ahead for repairs in a few days.”
The Ministry Area Leader of Newport North, the Revd Rebecca Stevens, said: “As incumbent, I feel sad at the upset it has caused the parishioners, who are trying their best to maintain the church building in these uncertain times. These are hard times for everyone, and, if people are in need, we would have tried to help if they’d have come to us, instead of choosing to take the path they did.”