Wouldn’t Christmas be miserable if you couldn’t go to your local church to enjoy the beauty of a carol service or to celebrate midnight mass? Many of our Christmas traditions are under threat thanks to the rotten thugs who’ve been nicking lead from church roofs. It’s been happening all over the country, but it seems particularly bad round here. There are nine churches close to Belvoir Fruit Farms; of these, five have suffered lead thefts – some several times over. And we are all feeling furious about it.
The problem is exacerbated, according to The Venerable Tim Barker, Archdeacon of Lincoln, because the gangs who target church roofs don’t give a hoot about what damage they do to the buildings as they tear the lead away. As a result, there are often expensive complications: “If the lead is behind a stone parapet and no one can see it, you only know there has been a theft when the rain leaks in and damages something else.”
In the future, according to Tim, lead on church roofs – wherever possible – will be replaced with terne coated stainless steel, which looks like lead but which is much more difficult to steal. “Lead can be rolled up and taken away very easily, but steel can’t be.”
In the meantime, what can we all do to help prevent the thefts? Tim says: “Be vigilant. If you see anything odd near a church – unexpected vehicles or people wandering around outside – report it to the police as soon as possible.”
You can also help by signing an e-petition asking that there be a change in the law so that scrap metal dealers have to pay their suppliers with either cheques or by electronic transfer, instead of cash. This means you can track exactly who is selling what and to whom, and it should cut down the incentive for theft enormously. Click here to sign the e-petition.
Best of all, do whatever you can to support your local church by going to carol services and supporting any local fund raising activities.
Why not hold a party after one of the Christmas services – our Mulled Winter Punch mixed with red wine is guaranteed to bring some seasonal cheer to the proceedings!