THE LEAD THEFT
In July 2019, St Andrew's church, Radbourne was badly damaged, for the second time, by lead thieves. It was raining heavily at the time of the theft, resulting in water damage to pews, the wooden floor. and the electrical system. When the thieves threw the lead from the roof, it landed on the porch roof, causing further damage.
As there is still a significant amount of lead on the roof, it feels as though it is only a matter of time before thieves return. The PCC (Parochial Church Council) has taken the decision to remove all the remaining lead and replace it with terne-coated stainless steel. This coating ages to look like lead. Even the lead on the Bell Tower is at risk. We know that other churches have had lead stolen from the tower.
An architect has been appointed and quotes have been obtained. The temporary roof has been reinforced to protect the church through the coming winter.
After the insurance company has paid for the current damage and the remaining lead has been traded in, there will be a shortfall of £55,000 to replace the Nave, North Aisle and Bell Tower roofs with steel. It will cost £30 per square foot to complete this roof work - see rewards. The Chancel roof has already been replaced with steel, following the previous theft. This crowd funding appeal has the target of reaching this amount, so that the work can be completed, further theft and damage will be prevented and this ancient and beautiful Grade 1 listed building will be preserved for generations to come.
ST ANDREWS CHURCH
The church was certainly built by 1280, possibly earlier. There are 2 artefacts in the church which predate the building. St Andrew's has been dedicated to 4 different saints over the years but the altar has always been dedicated to St Andrew. Stained glass windows date back to 13th and 14th century. There is intricate wood carving and an octagonal font cover. The Bell Tower was added in15th century and contains 3 bells, one dated 1550. There are several monuments in the church, notably a stone sculpture by Grinling Gibbons c1700, which is unusual as most of his sculptures are in wood. Around the outer door is ancient grafitti. Greater detail is in a book about St Andrew's by Jennie Hammond, church warden and historian - see rewards. Visitors to St Andrew's are always welcome.
LETTERS OF SUPPORT
We have received a number of letter of support, including:
The Right Reverend Libby Lane, Bishop of Derby:
'It is deeply distressing to hear that St Andrew's Radbourne has been the target of roof lead theft for the second time in 4 years. I commend the positive action being taken in response, and support the fund-raising effort by the PCC, to replace all the lead with steel and thus prevent further theft as well as protecting an ancient place of worship for future generations. Please support 'Stop The Church Roof Lead Thieves'.’
James and Annie Chichester. Annie Chichester is the Patron of St Andrew's:
'We are delighted to whole-heartedly support the fund raising efforts to replace the lead roof of St Andrews Radbourne with steel. This important and historic place of worship has been cruelly vandalised by thieves the second time in four years and hopefully this will put a stop to any further theft.'
Annie does not have a publicity photo but suggested using the nerine, named after her. She said it is prettier. Of course we do not agree!
Police and Crime Commissioner, Derbyshire, Hardyal Dhindsa:
'It was disappointing to hear that St Andrew’s have needed to take the difficult decision to re-roof the church in steel in an attempt to prevent further thefts of lead. I am more than happy to add my support towards the campaign. Might I suggest a visit to the Church so I can understand more and then use social media to raise awareness of the campaign and link to the Crowdfunding page?
Hardyal Dhindsa will be visiting St Andrew's on 28th November.
Charles Hanson, Auctioneer, often seen on TV antiques programmes:
‘So upsetting to learn of the theft from the roof of this historic and beautiful church. I am delighted to help support Radbourne with this campaign’.
THE PROJECT TEAM
Sue, Michelle and Tim have worked hard to make this appeal a success and have secured the support of many businesses who have offered financial support and also access to their social media accounts to spread the word as widely as possible.
There has been a recent archaeological dig in Radbourne, 'In Search of the Old Hall'. This dig attracted the attention of BBC Radio Derby. We will approach both BBC Radio Derby and East Midlands Today with a view to a return visit to cover this appeal.
DONATIONS PRIOR TO CROWD FUNDING
Before the PCC decided to pursue the crowd funding appeal, some significant donations had already been made. £7,832 has been donated by 73 people and organisations. This amount will be added to the crowd funding total.
It will cost £30 per square foot to complete this roof work. Metric measurement have not reached Radbourne yet! Rewards are offered on the basis of square footage the donation will cover.
Radbourne Hall was built in 1730's and has recently been fully renovated. The Hall is a family home and has never been open to the public, so the tours offered will not be repeated.