CHURCHES have struggled to make ends meet for years and the last thing they need is a visit from lead thieves.

Once the lead is stolen it means rain can get straight in and cause thousands of pounds worth of damage inside.

These thieves seem to have no consciences at all – and that’s proved by the fact that they will target churches without a second thought, leaving them open to the elements.

They are damaging our religious heritage and money spent replacing the lead means there is less for other badly-needed restoration projects.

But the big question is where is all this lead going? Someone is paying the thieves for it and is enough being done to catch those at the end of the chain?