Thieves stole tons of lead from the roof of a village church on Saturday night.
When people arrived at All Saints’ Church in Lilbourne for their Sunday morning service the congregation could see the blue sky through the wooden boards of the ceiling.
The theft occurred between 7pm on Saturday, August 15, and 8am the following morning.
Tons of lead were stripped from the roof, and damage was also done to part of the guttering.
Access was apparently through hedges at the back of the church, through a field of cattle. A vehicle was driven in to carry the tons of lead away.
Churchwarden Graham Le Flem said: “This was done by ‘professionals’ – it was obviously planned. This is devastating news for an 11th century church which has survived hundreds of years and so many historic events.”
Northamptonshire Police want to speak to anyone who may have witnessed suspicious activity near the church at the time of the theft, or in the preceding days as they believe the premises had been ‘scoped’ out in advance. They can be contacted by dialing 101.