‘Silver lining’ for church targeted by lead thieves

‘Silver lining’ for church targeted by lead thieves

The Reverend of a church targeted twice by lead thieves has spoken of the “silver lining” of the local community rallying round to fundraise for repairs.

On June 1, St Chad’s in Bishops Tachbrook was stripped of two-thirds of its lead roof by thieves – who then brazenly returned hours later to finish the job.

The church, on Mallory Road, has since had to close whenever it rains and faces a £80,000 bill for a replacement stainless steel roof. It is believed that insurers will only pay £15,000 towards this as there was no alarm or CCTV.

However, the local community has been fundraising in earnest since learning of the plight of St Chad’s, and has already contributed over £12,000 towards the repairs.

Pupils at Bishop’s Tachbrook CoE Primary School raised £800, and local churches St Margaret’s and St Nicholas’ contributed £1,000 each. A Facebook page set up by Reverend Elaine Scrivens of St Chad’s has raised another £1,500 so far.

Housing association L&Q, which is building 450 homes in Beauchamp Park, Gallows Hill, and 60 homes at Birnham Mews, Tiddington, also contributed £8,000.

Rev Elaine Scrivens said she had been overwhelmed by the support.

She said: “We were devasted when this happened. We were in the middle of a service when someone came in and alerted us to the incident, and we discovered that two-thirds of the lead had been removed. 

“Later that night, the thieves returned to take the rest of the lead. Our insurance company will only pay £15,000 since we didn’t have an alarm or CCTV on the roof, but the silver lining of this incident has been the wonderful way this has brought the village together. L&Q’s donation is particularly generous, and we didn’t even have to ask them for help.” 

Liam O’Riordan, a senior estimator for the housing association, said: “L&Q is very much a community-focused business and when we heard about the church appeal, we wanted to help. 

“St Chad’s is a wonderful, beautiful church and we hope the Reverend Scrivens has her wish of being able to hold services again in the building before Christmas.”

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