Lead thieves have struck again in the Harborough area, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to a church after removing the valuable metal from its roof.
This time the target was St Nicholas Church in Rectory lane, Little Bowden, a listed building which has parts dating back to the 12th century.
But the thieves seem to have been disturbed, disappearing into the night, leaving the stripped lead in the churchyard.
It is the fourth time the church has been hit by thieves in seven years, said the vicar, the Rev Andrew Quigley.
The attempted theft happened on overnight from Tuesday, March 2, to Wednesday March 3.
Mr Quigley added: “They took the lead off the porch, and then got onto the vestry roof and ripped all the lead off that too.
“The lead was left scattered round the churchyard, so they won’t have profited from it. But there is thousands of pounds worth of damage, including damage to the guttering and stonework of the church. It’s very upsetting.”
St Nicholas had already launched a fundraising campaign called Raise The Roof, to replace lead. About £8,000 had been raised so far.
“Our target was more than £20,000. It’s now higher,” said Mr Quigley.
In the last four months lead thieves have struck at Market Harborough Golf Club and churches in Husbands Bosworth, Welford and Cotesbach, near Lutterworth.
To donate to the Little Bowden fund call 01858 410253.
Or go to the next fundraising event, a spring music concert at the church at 7.30pm next Saturday, March 21.
Tickets are £5 and available on 01858 433241. Accompanied children get in free.