Vicar's shock at church roof theft

A SUFFOLK vicar has spoken of her shock today after thieves stole lead from the parish church roof.

A SUFFOLK vicar has spoken of her shock today after thieves stole lead from the parish church roof.

There are now calls for villagers in Cotton to be extra vigilant after the section of lead was taken from the roof of St Andrew Church.

Reverend Liz Varley, rector of the Bacton benefice, which covers the parishes of Bacton, Cotton, Old Newton, Wickham Skeith and Wyverstone, said: “We were lucky as we have noisy dogs, which frightened off the thieves.

“We have had plenty of warnings from everyone to watch out for lead thefts. We want everyone to be vigilant and if they see people doing things on church roofs, they should try to find out who they are.

“Lead is an important building material on old churches. There is a lot of sadness and shock among people here, who are saying they did not think it would happen to this church.”

The theft happened some time between 4pm on November 29 and 7.15am the following day.

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Police are investigating the offence in connection with two others, which occurred around the same time in the same area.

A ladder left by the west side of the porch, which was used by the offenders, was stolen from a garden in Mendlesham Road, between 4pm on the November 29 and 12.30am on the following day.

And a white van was stolen on the same night from Pound Hill, Bacton.

A police spokesman said: “It is possible that the van was used to take the lead away from Cotton.

“The van was found burnt out in a field near to Parkers Road in Cotton and all of the items that had been in the van when it was stolen were dumped in the field nearby. The lead is still missing.”

Suffolk police launched a campaign a few weeks ago in a bid to prevent this type of crime.

As part of the initiative, officers are warning metal scrap yards to be on their guard for stolen goods and have been putting extra patrols on in certain areas.

If you saw anything suspicious or can help police with their enquiries, call Pc Michael Moon at Eye Police on 01473 613500.

Have you been the victim of a burglary? How has it affected you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail