Thieves strip lead from church between Horsham and Crawley - for the SECOND time

Thieves have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage after stripping lead from the roof of a village church ... for the second time.

The thieves struck at St Saviour’s in Forest Road, Colgate, which was targeted in an earlier attack two years ago.

Churchwarden John Sired and Father Russell Stagg with the damaged organ

Churchwarden John Sired and Father Russell Stagg with the damaged organ

Rainwater has now damaged the interior of the Victorian church, along with the church organ.

Other rural churches are now being warned to be on their guard.

St Saviour’s churchwarden John Sired said he did not know when the theft occurred, but he discovered the lead was missing two weeks ago after noticing rainwater damage.

“We didn’t miss it until we had trouble.

“What is annoying is that this is the second time,” he said.

“They have been back and cleaned up some more. I should imagine it’s the same people who did it before.

“I really wish I had been there at the time - I would have taken the ladder away and left them up there on the roof.”

He said the organ which had been damaged by water was made up of two different organs and had ‘a lovely sound.’

He said he “wouldn’t be surprised if the damage costs thousands” and added: “It is such a shame. They have no idea the concern it causes, all for a few quid of lead.”

He said insurance assessors were expected to visit the church this week.

“Hopefully they will let us know what needs to be done to avoid more lead being stolen.”