Thieves target Burnley church two nights in a row

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Brazen thieves have stolen thousands of pounds worth of lead from the roof of a Burnley church after targeting the same building two nights in a row.

The raiders struck at All Saints with St John the Baptist Church in Padiham Road on Wednesday, September 3rd. They stripped lead off the low roof, which overlooks Padiham Road, at the front of the church some time after 8pm.

The incident was reported to police but, just 24 hours later, the thieves returned and escaped with more lead from the back of the building.

Fr Charlie Hill from the church said so far they have been lucky with the weather but fear any rain could cause further damage to the building.

“They were proper cheeky. It was one of those things I guess where old buildings get targeted but we are kept going by donations. It’s quite challenging to maintain a building like a church without being robbed blind.

“To replace the lead we’ll have to scaffold everything so for us the cost will be substantially more than the value of the lead.

“As luck would have it we are insured but the insurance will now go up. It’s just not nice.

“It’s a bonny building, it’s well used. We do a fair bit for the community.

“I was talking to the police and I think it was a fairly organised outfit.

“They must’ve gone up with ladders.”

“Luckily the weather’s holding off but one of the biggest worries is water damage. If the classic Burnley weather kicks in we are in a bit of trouble.

“We don’t have a lot of money, we run on a day to day basis and we’ve to find our running costs.

“It’s a principle thing. You just sort of think that people’s houses and places of worship would be sacrosanct.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.