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New alarm fitted at Dennington Church in bid to deter lead roof thieves

St Mary the Virgin Chuch in Dennington. ANL-150710-165855005
St Mary the Virgin Chuch in Dennington. ANL-150710-165855005

A north Suffolk church has become one of the first in the county to be fitted with a specialist alarm following a spate of roof lead thefts.

In just over a month lead has been stolen from the roofs of nine churches, leaving damage worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

St Mary’s Church in Dennington was targeted by thieves in September, who made off with about 30ft by 10ft of lead from the roof of the church.

Suffolk churches at risk of lead theft attacks have responded quickly to an offer of help from Suffolk Historic Churches Trust (SHCT), to enable them to afford approved roof alarms.

By having the alarm fitted it means the remaining lead is better protected and covered by insurance.

Jonathan Olanczuk, rector at the church, told the Diss Express: “The whole thing is disgusting and it hurts the local community as well as the church. We are happy Suffolk Historic Churches Trust have supported us.”

The Suffolk Historic Churches Trust launched the “Alarms for Churches Appeal”, so that alarm systems can be installed on the roofs of all churches at risk as soon as possible.

The Trust is offering to cover half of the cost involved, up to a value of £2,500 per church.

The SHCT is asking for the people of Suffolk to support the appeal.

“We have already sent 24 enrolment forms out to churches and chapels, and seven have already returned completed forms,” explained Martin Favell, chairman of SHCT.

“Two of the six targeted churches have already installed approved alarms since the theft of their lead.”

Donations to the Trust’s Alarms for Churches Appeal are beginning to come in from residents concerned by the recent spate of attacks.

To donate to the appeal visit www.justgiving.com/suffolkhct.

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