CHURCHES across Oxfordshire are being warned to be on their guard after thieves stole lead from rooftops.

The thefts took place last month at St Mary’s Church in Garsington and All Saints’ Church in Cuddesdon, both near Oxford.

Temporary repairs are being carried out, according to a spokeswoman for the Oxford Diocese.

READ AGAIN: Churches urged to fit roof alarms to beat lead thieves

She added: “The next stage will be assessing the cost of repair, probably not with lead as there are other materials that are not as attractive to thieves.

“Someone heard the thieves and called the police but they had gone by the time the officers arrived, which was within 10 minutes of being called out.”

Oxford Mail:

In 2016 the Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust said it wanted all churches in diocese to have roof alarms fitted as a deterrent.

The trust said since the middle of the year 18 village churches had lead ripped from their roofs by criminal gangs.

As a result, it launched the Alarms for Churches Appeal to help villages and local communities install alarm systems to protect their church roofs as quickly as possible.

The appeal aimed to cover half the cost involved in installing an electronic alarm system, and is offering to pay up to £2,500 per church.