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Thieves steal copper from church for ninth time

PUBLISHED: 10:49 07 November 2011

Rev Barry Hobson and organist Andrew Lorq after one of the raids in June

Rev Barry Hobson and organist Andrew Lorq after one of the raids in June

Archant

Thieves struck again on Thursday night and stole copper from a Hornchurch church roof – for the ninth time this year.

Last week The Recorder reported the church had been targeted last weekend with thieves leaving a repair bill worth £50,000.

But on Thursday night more copper was ripped from the roof leaving rainwater free to ruin the church walls and pews.

The damage was discovered by the cleaner on Friday morning. Marilyn Bishop, who works in the church office, said: “Overnight some copper was taken from the other end of the roof it was taken from last weekend. The rainwater has come through and gone onto the pews. We have three services on the Sunday and they will be affected if the pews have not dried by then because we won’t be able to let the congregation use them.”

In June The Recorder reported that Rev Hobson and his parishioners were taking it in turns to sleep in the church to protect it.

Crooks caused damage to the 800-year-old Grade I listed building, which needed specialist materials for repair work.

When they found thieves stealing from the roof in June they called the police who swooped on the church to arrest one of the men.

Rev Hobson said the Rhodesian copper has been at the church since the middle of the 19th century and has survived a couple of bombs during the Second World War.

If you have any information on the latest theft you can contact Romford police on 101.


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