Theft strikes a low note at church

sp90938  Eckington church lead theft  pictured Rev.Hilary Savage
sp90938 Eckington church lead theft pictured Rev.Hilary Savage

BLUSHING brides and grieving families are having to make do with a piano and CDs in the absence of a church organ, which was damaged following lead thefts.

The raids have left a hole in the roof of St Peter and St Paul’s Church, on Mill Road, in Eckington, meaning rain has fallen on to the much-used organ, causing it to malfunction.

Now, upset church staff are calling on generous folk to dig deep and raise funds to help repair the instrument.

The Rev Hilary Savage said: “We didn’t realise there had been a lead theft until there was a leak some weeks ago and we turned on the organ and there was a small explosion. Now it doesn’t work.

“It’ll cost about £40,000 to repair it – and it may be out of action until next spring.

“We have a lot of weddings and funerals so people are having to use the piano or CDs. Unfortunately it looks as though Christmas services will be affected too.”

Rev Savage added that worshippers and church-goers were “shocked” and “upset” by the lead theft and the damage to the organ.

“It’s appalling and very unfortunate as this church is important to a lot of people,” she said.

If you would like to donate any funds to help repair the organ, send them to the Rectory at 17 Church Street, Eckington, S21 4BG, or post them through the front door

“We’d be very grateful if people could give something to help repair our organ and of course we’ll continue giving to our other charities,” added Rev Savage.

This latest incident comes weeks after worshippers staged a night vigil to stop yobs returning to steal lead from a church centre.

As reported in the Derbyshire Times, volunteers were “sickened” to discover large sections of the metal had been removed from the roof of Stonegravels Parish Centre, and dumped outside, with more lead cut around then left ready to be taken.

To try to prevent the thieves from returning, the parishioners took action by holding a stakeout.

John Holmes, secretary of the parish centre management team, said there had been no more thefts since the vigil. However, there was an attempted lead theft at nearby Christ Church, even though it does not have lead on its roof.

Anyone with information about lead thefts should call police on 0345 123 3333 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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