Generous residents raise thousands for church roof appeals

St Marys Church Combs, targeted by lead thieves, Parish Priest Chris Childs with Curate Rachel Cornish,'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150826-115113009
St Marys Church Combs, targeted by lead thieves, Parish Priest Chris Childs with Curate Rachel Cornish,'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150826-115113009
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Thousands of pounds have been raised to repair two Suffolk churches after thieves stripped their roofs of lead last week.

Communities near Combs and Lavenham have shown ‘extraordinary’ support for their local churches after St Mary’s Church in Combs and St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Lavenham were targeted by thieves.

St Marys Church Combs, targeted by lead thieves, Parish Priest Chris Childs with Curate Rachel Cornish,'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150826-115243009

St Marys Church Combs, targeted by lead thieves, Parish Priest Chris Childs with Curate Rachel Cornish,'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150826-115243009

Between 12.30pm on Sunday, August 23, and 7am on Monday, August 24, thieves ripped six tonnes of lead from the roof of the church in Combs which is expected to cost up to £150,000 to repair. The day after, seven tonnes was stripped from the church in Lavenham.

On bank holiday Monday, around 80 people attended a meeting at St Mary’s donating more than £7,000 and forming a church roof fund-raising committee.

Parish Priest Reverend Chris Childs said: “We’ve called the committee ‘Raising the Roof’ and on the night we raised £7,300 which is just extraordinary.

“Before the meeting we also were donated £800 by the village fete committee. The scaffolding is now up and we should have a temporary roof up by the weekend.”

Reverend Mark Woodrow, curate of Lavenham church, with church cleaner Richard De'ath and church rector Rev Stephen Earl

Reverend Mark Woodrow, curate of Lavenham church, with church cleaner Richard De'ath and church rector Rev Stephen Earl

In Lavenham the community have also raised more than £7,000 for their roof fund with a bring and buy sale.

Rector Rev Stephen Earl said: “We were overwhelmed by the numbers of people who turned out despite the weather, to purchase items which had been donated for sale by so many from the village.
“Yesterday alone £7,059 was raised, and people are continuing to post cheques through the rectory door.

“We have even received promises of support from as far afield as the USA, Austria and Australia.”

Both appeals are setting up Justgiving fund-raising pages to take donations.

If you know anything that may help police with their investigation please call 101.