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Lincolnshire churches replace lead roofs with steel after thefts


The Church of St Peter Ad Vincula is applying to replace its roof with stainless steel after being hit by lead thieves


Churches in Lincolnshire are replacing their lead roofs with cheaper materials after a series of thefts.

At least six churches in one parish had opted for stainless steel roofs after their lead tiles were stolen, a new planning application has suggested.

Among those was the Church of St Peter Ad Vincula in Threekingham, which had most of its lead stolen in late 2019.

With repairs to the lead estimated at costing up to £100,000, the church has chosen a stainless steel substitute.

St Peter Ad Vincula, near Sleaford, dates back to the 12th Century and the stolen lead had been in place since the 1800s.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, a planning application for the church roof stated that while some of the lead sheets had not been stolen during the theft, which happened across two nights in December 2019, they had still been badly damaged.

The application added: "None of the churches in the parish are able to afford the premiums for buildings insurance cover and Threekingham was the sixth church in the parish to suffer a major theft."

It said a material known as terne-coated stainless steel had a similar appearance to lead, but "without the ease of thefts, nor the scrap value, and so is generally deemed the best alternative".

The other churches had also opted for similar replacements, paid for by grants and local fundraising, the application said.

The replacement would have a lifespan of at least 100 years and would protect the church's historic interior, it added.

The application for the change of roofing materials at St Peter Ad Vincula said that while the thieves had since been caught, "several gangs have operated in Lincolnshire in the past with similar patterns of theft of roof metals.

"It is likely that new waves of thefts will occur."


source: www.bbc.co.uk

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