Following the theft of an estimated seven tons of lead from the north aisle roof of Lavenham Parish Church during August, the community and supporters of St Peter and St Paul have rallied round to raise the necessary funds to repair the damage and help prevent a recurrence.
It was initially feared that repairs might have exceeded £100,000, however, in part thanks to quick thinking volunteers helping to limit the internal damage and local roofing firms quoting competitively, the final costs will be around £50,000.
Rector, The Revd. Stephen Earl said: “The response from the community has been fantastic and in less than a month and a half we have raised sufficient money to replace the stolen lead, repair the damage the thieves caused, as well as installing a state of the art alarm system, which we believe will prevent any future thefts from our church.
“Indeed, we are fully behind the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust ‘Alarms for Churches Appeal’.”
Churchwarden, David Deacon, added: “As with any historic building such as ours, ongoing restoration and maintenance is both a great responsibility and also a privilege, as we strive to preserve the building for our children and grandchildren’s generation.
“We can now return our attention to fundraising for more routine restoration, and have set up an online giving account www.justgiving.com/lavenhamchurch so that anyone can donate towards the future of Lavenham Church.”
Lavenham Church is one of nine to be targeted in just over a month in Suffolk.
Police investigations into the theft in Lavenham and others across the county are ongoing.
Anyone with information should call Suffolk Police on 101.