Thieves stripped flashing from Padiham church branded ‘low-lives’ by angry parishioner (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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Thieves stripped flashing from Padiham church branded ‘low-lives’ by angry parishioner
10:57am Friday 20th September 2013 in News
THIEVES have stripped lead from a church roof in Padiham for the third time, putting the 140-year-old building at risk.
Around 45metres of lead flashing has been stolen from St Leonard’s, the town’s parish church.
The Reverend Mark Jones condemned the thieves for targeting the Grade Two listed building.
He said: “Did they not think about the upset, the nuisance, the work and the trouble it causes, just for a few hundred pounds?
“They’re damaging a building that has been there for 140 years just to make a few quick pounds.
“It has caused distress and upset to a lot of people and wasted a lot of time and energy.
“The congregation are upset that a building that they care about has been treated like that.”
Churchwarden Kathleen Hudson believes the raiders used a ladder to scale the roof at the back of the church before putting the stolen flashing in a wheelie bin, which was found abandoned in Adamson Street.
She said: “They’re just scum. It’s the third time we’ve been ripped off and it’s costing the church money.
“Every time the church gets a theft the insurance companies bump up our payments.
“It’s the parish church and there are enough costs with the upkeep without stuff like this happening.
“The lead is marked with Smartwater so it would be nice if the scrap dealers looked at it properly, but we’ve never heard about any of the other lead that’s gone.”
Parishioner Jean Cunningham also blasted the thieves.
She said: “I’m disgusted. They’re low-lives.
“I know people are struggling nowadays but there’s no excuse at all.”
The church is now waiting for the damage to be assessed before repair work can start.
An architect is also being consulted about the repair, because of the building’s listed status.
A police spokesman said: “We are aware of the incident and we are making enquiries."
Anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area is asked to call police on 101.
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