DISGUSTED parishioner who campaigned to raise thousands of pounds for a church revamp must now use some of the money to replace lead stolen from the building’s roof.
Despicable thieves stripped the roof at St Saviour’s Church, in Shotton Colliery, of around £3,000 worth of lead.
The Hartlepool Mail has regularly featured the church in recent months as parishioners held events and donated a total of £35,000 towards the scheme to replace masonry.
This was topped up by £20,000 in grants from the Durham Diocese and the scheme was just days away from completion.
But now churchgoers are having to use some of the money set aside for the building project to replace the stolen lead.
Church warden George Robinson said: “We are just annoyed, we have got so far, but it is one step forward and two steps back.
“Some of the money for the ongoing work is now going to have to be spent on the roof.
“We have got smart water but they will just melt the lead down and sell it on.”
Mr Robinson said the general feeling is not to give up on improvements to the church.
He added: “We have got to persevere. We won’t give up.”
A church fun day held two weeks ago raised £726 towards the on-going works.
The lead theft took place at the church, in the village’s Grange Terrace, sometime between Sunday night and Tuesday lunchtime this week.
Anyone with information should contact Durham Police on 0345 6060365 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.