Revamped church roof damaged

WOULD-BE thieves have targeted Sidmouth’s recently revamped All Saints’ Church.

Some time between 6pm on Saturday, July 17 and 10am on Sunday, July 18, vandals climbed on to the church roof and attempted to take the lead. They either gave up or were disturbed, as they didn’t get away with any, but caused �200 of damage.

The incident came the night after a thanksgiving and rededication service celebrating the end of months of hard work and fundraising to revitalise the venue and create a new link between the church and hall.

Project manager John Belton said: “This is extremely disappointing, we knew lead was a problem but hadn’t expected something like this so soon.

“It happened on the west side. Not a lot of people go around there so that must be why they chose it.”

A contractor had been showing somebody the work when they noticed the lead had been damaged, about 10ft off the ground.

Mr Belton said: “It’s relatively easy to get at. It seems they drove a vehicle round there, which must’ve had a ladder attached because there was no sign of anything on the ground. Fortunately nothing was taken.”

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Security has been stepped up since, including better lighting and CCTV on the west side. The lead has been coated with Smart Water, which instantly identifies it as the property of the church should it ever be removed. “Having had this experience, we don’t want it happening again,” said Mr Belton.

Anyone with any information about the incident can contact Sidmouth Police Station on 08452 777 444 quoting reference KS/10/376.