August 18, 2008

Churches May Get Steel Roofs ; Stainless Steel Could Be the Latest Tool in the Fight Against Crime.

Stainless steel could be the latest tool in the fight against crime.

Lead thefts have plagued churches across North Lincolnshire, costing communities thousands of pounds in replacement roofs.

Now, stainless steel roofs offer a glimmer of hope for churches, including St Andrew's in Burton-Upon-Stather, which had pounds11,000 of lead stolen from its roof in January.

Churchwarden Clive Hodgins (61), of Orchard Drive, Burton, said covering the church roof with steel instead of traditional lead would help deter thieves.

"The first thing is steel does not have as much scrap value as lead," he said.

"Also, steel is welded on whereas lead is folded over, which made traditional soft lead roofs easier to steal."

But the move to less traditional steel has been resisted by groups including English Heritage.

He said: "English Heritage has to relent because of the thefts there have been.

"Our insurance company - Ecclesiastical - has had pounds1.4- million-worth of claims in the past nine months."

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