Foot through roof foils church raider

Rev Paul Clemence and church member Irene Greenwood with some of the copper which was left behind after the attempted theft from the roof.
Rev Paul Clemence and church member Irene Greenwood with some of the copper which was left behind after the attempted theft from the roof.
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A WOULD-BE metal thief’s plan was foiled when the raider almost fell through a roof.

The thief was attempting to steal copper strips from St John’s Parish Church, on Stanah Road, Little Thornton when a rotten joist gave way underneath.

Irene Greenwood, who has been an active member of the congregation for 50 years, told The Gazette of the devastating effects the damage has had at a time when the church is working extremely hard to fundraise for new windows and plan for it’s golden jubilee anniversary celebrations on July 3.

She said: “We have six beautiful windows but the frames are rotten. As they stand the windows could fall through at any time. We have been given a quote of more than £2,000 per window.

“We have a huge amount of money to raise and are holding a variety of fundraising activities over the next two weeks leading up to the 50th anniversary of the church.

“I could cry. The roof is now a mess, with about a two-foot square hole, a builder friend has made it watertight, but that is only a temporary measure. We are currently awaiting quotes to find out what the extra cost will be.”

A police spokesman said: “The incident has been reported and is being investigated.

“During the night of June 1, suspects began removing scrap metal from the roof, after causing damage to the roof they left the scene, leaving four square metres of the rolled-up metal in the bush.”

The rising price for scrap metal has seen similar thefts across the country.

Police said another incident occurred on the same night at Christ Church, Meadows Avenue, Thornton.

The thieves stole 16 square yards of copper sheeting some time between 7.30pm and 8am on the night of Wednesday June 1.

Anyone with information should contact police on 0845 1 25 35 45.

Or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.