Members of Walthamstow Spiritualist Church in north London are outraged that their church has twice been the target of thieves in less than two weeks.
Churchgoers were stunned to discover on Friday, March 11 that hundreds of pounds worth of lead had been ripped from the roof overnight. After contractors had repaired the roof, the burglars returned 11 days later and stole yet more of the material.
It happened just days after the nearby Tom Thumb Nursery also had lead ripped from its roof, but police insist there has not been a spate of cases in recent weeks.
The church has now spent more than £600 repairing the damage with a non-lead roof. CCTV cameras and extra security lighting have also been installed.
Church president Margaret Wilde, interviewed by the Waltham Forest News, said: “How can they do it? We are here as a service to help people, and if things like this keep happening we won’t be able to keep the church open.
“We rely entirely upon donations and have been saving up for some refurbishment works, including some painting, but that’s all been put back now.
“Our committee just can’t believe it. It’s worrying when the nursery also had lead stolen. We believe it happened at night, and it doesn’t seem that the police can do much.”
A spokesman for Waltham Forest police said, “Locally in recent weeks there are no patterns emerging.”
On March 22, a police helicopter spotted a suspected lead thief on the roof of Walthamstow’s William Morris Special School. Gary Severnek, of Walthamstow, was charged with theft and criminal damage.