Gravestone smashed in latest south Norfolk lead theft — this time in Bressingham

St John the Baptist Church, Bressingham
St John the Baptist Church, Bressingham

A Bressingham church is the latest to have been targeted by lead thieves — who smashed a gravestone in their wake.

About 12m x 2m stretch of lead from the south aisle at St John the Baptist Church is thought to have been taken late on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

I was beside myself when I heard the news

Diana Burroughes, church warden

Guttering was also broken during the raid at the Grade I listed building.

Diana Burroughes, church warden since 2008, said the church has been a repeated target by lead thieves — but this had been the worst.

“I was beside myself when I heard the news,” she told the Diss Express.

“I was really very upset. It is just devastating, to see a grave desecrated in that way.”

The lead is SmartWater protected but Mrs Burroughes said the insurance company would only be paying out a “small amount.”

And she added it would come as a blow, with the church currently in the process of applying for Heritage Lottery grant to replace the lead on the nave of the building , which is dependent on the church also raising funds.

An alarm would form part of the funding plans, should it be successful.

On how to tackle further lead thefts following a spate in the south Norfolk area, Mrs Burroughes said: “Alarms are the answer I suppose, but they are very expensive.”

Churches in North Lopham, Hempnall and Newton Flotman have seen lead stolen by thieves in recent weeks, while an alarm at a church in Topcroft stopped would-be raiders earlier this month.

Police are currently investigating the lead theft in Bressingham. Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.