Historic Hornchurch church damaged by metal thieves

Metal theives have targeted one of Havering’s oldest and most well-loved buildings - causing an estimated thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Around 40 square yards of copper was stripped from the roof of St Andrew’s Church, a Grade I listed building in Hornchurch High Street, by cruel crooks last weekend.

Specialist builders have been called in to make the building watertight before more permanent repair work is carried out.

Parish administrator Marilyn Bishop said: “We are in shock here. People really can’t believe that someone could do this to a beautiful old building.

“St Andrew’s is the landmark on the hill in Hornchurch and loved by a great many people - not just parishoners.”

The church is covered by insurance and while no quotes have passed hands yet, the damage could be as much as �2,000.

Thieves may have scaled a drain pipe to gain access to the roof, after broken guttering was found abandoned in nearby bushes.

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A church has stood on the site for more than 800 years.

Anyone with information should contact Romford Police Station on: 0300 123 1212.

There has been an increase in copper and lead thefts nationally as metal prices rise.