A HEARTFELT plea has gone out after a church was left fighting for survival following repeated lead thefts and a £38,000 repair bill.
All Saints’ Church in Misterton has been targeted eight times since 2003, including three thefts over the summer - two of which took place just 48 hours apart.
Volunteer fundraiser Jane Moffett described the situation as “serious”.
She said: “They’ve stripped the roof of lead, caused substantial damage to the 1,000 year old masonry, left it open to the elements and have put the church in imminent threat of closure.”
Volunteers must now find a £33,000 shortfall after insurers said they would only pay out a maximum of £5,000, in one year, towards the £38,000 repair claim.
This figure includes the installation of a security system aimed at preventing further thefts from the Grade One listed building.
“We simply do not have the money for this work,” added Miss Moffett. “Time is running out.”
“I would appeal to anyone who can help either with a donation, a fundraising event or the necessary skills to get in touch as soon as possible.”
Reverend David Henson said: “When this happens it literally rips the heart out of the congregation.
Neighbourhood officer PC Nathan Thomas said: “We are doing all we can to deter and disrupt criminal activity of this sort, including increasing patrols and working with the churches to implement crime prevention tactics.”
To help the church out contact Miss Moffett on 07798 747234.