St Peter's Church, Forncett

Can we stop the theft of lead from Church roofs?

Written by Super User on .

There has been a call for a petition to be signed to help prevent the theft of lead from church roofs.

You don't have to be a church-goer, or even a Christian to care about these medieval buildings, and as any householder will know, the surest way to encourage deterioration within a building is to have a leaky roof.

Strenuous efforts have been made to prevent these thefts; surveillance cameras, locked gates, and even ‘smart water’ that rubs off on the culprits and remains detectable for some time have all been tried, but still the thefts continue. Ironically the cost of making good this vandalism far outweighs the profit that the thieves make on the lead. Church committees and fund raising groups work endlessly and tirelessly to raise funds to improve other aspects of these old buildings, and it is sickening to see this money being spent on the roof yet again. These thefts involve not only churches, but houses, business premises and schools.

The petition asks that the Scrap Metal Merchants Act of 1964 be amended to make it mandatory for sales of the metal to be carried out with cheques or bank cards as a way to help trace those dealing with stolen goods. So far the e-petition has gathered just over 17,683 signatures, but needs 100.000 names to make the issue eligible for debate in the House of Commons. The scrap metal dealers won’t like this change to be made, but then neither will the thieves as it will make life much more difficult for them.

The petition is available online and signing it simply involves visiting the website Just ‘ctrl’ and click; this link will take you right there.

Much as I detest chain letters and emails, I think that here is one exception; why not send this to friends and relatives in other parts of the country? I shall be sending it to my sister near Sheffield as I can't believe that northern church roofs are any more immune from this than East Anglian ones. If we all forward this to two or three people, and they do likewise, it should reach … (anyone good at maths?) … quite a lot of people.

I obtained this information from an article in the Wymondham Mercury - it is on the front page and continued on page 4.

Thanks very much

Su Leavesley