Leicestershire medieval parish churches damaged by roofing thefts

Over the second half of 2017 and in the first half of 2018, several medieval parish churches in Leicestershire have had parts of their roofing lead stolen, often from the (lower) aisle roofs, in what appear to be well-prepared and coordinated thefts (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-30151909).

Many of the affected churches are fine examples of English Gothic architecture (see for example St. Peter, Church Langton; https://www.leicestershirechurches.co.uk/church-langton-st-peter/).

The removal of the lead sheathing from the roofs has caused leaks that are continuing to damage medieval wooden ceilings and/or stone vaults as well as pews and other church furnishings. There is no centrally coordinated organization raising funds for the repair of these churches. While the churches themselves belong to the regional Anglican diocese, the repair and maintenance of the buildings is left entirely to the resources of the shrinking communities of the faithful, often in small villages. At some sites, alarms have been installed to prevent further thefts, but as the communities cannot easily raise funds to repair the roofs of their churches, plastic sheeting strategically placed over sections of the aisle roofs and over affected areas of the pews below is often the only financially viable response. Because there is at present no central organization taking the lead on fundraising to repair the affected buildings, aid at this point must take the form of donations to individual church communities.