THIEVES stripped £20,000 worth of lead from a church roof.
They climbed ladders before taking the valuable metal off St Paul’s Church in Alverthorpe sometime overnight on Tuesday.
And they took around 75 per cent of the church’s lead, which stops rainwater from getting into the main building.
The Rev Gerry Sykes, who has been at the church for the past three years, said the community building would remain open for the time being.
He said: “The really bad thing is the effect it will have on the groups which use the church.
“We have been doing a lot of work to involve the community and this is going to set us back.”
The metal, which is attracting thieves across the whole country due to its high value, was stripped from along the side of the parapet.
Temporary roof felt has been laid, but Rev Sykes fears it will only last for a few weeks.
It does mean a wedding planned for tomorrow will be able to go ahead as usual.
He said the church’s insurance would not meet the full costs of repairs.
And his congregation could be asked to help fundraise in the near future.
Police were alerted to the theft on Wednesday morning at 7.30am.
A passer-by noticed ladders propped up against the church on St Paul’s Drive.
Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with any information to contact them.
To do so contact the police on 08456 060606 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.