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Making history safe: 50 Norfolk churches to get protection from lead thieves

PUBLISHED: 12:03 14 February 2018

Roof Alarm Scheme: From left to right: DC Andy Brown, The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk Lorne Green and The Revd Canon Tony Billett. Pic credit: Diocese of Norwich.

Roof Alarm Scheme: From left to right: DC Andy Brown, The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk Lorne Green and The Revd Canon Tony Billett. Pic credit: Diocese of Norwich.

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More than 50 Norfolk churches thought to be at high risk of being targeted by lead thieves are set to be alarmed by the end of next month.

The drive to safeguard the future of churches in the county from criminals who look to steal valuable lead from roofs has been launched as part of the Raise the Alarm campaign.

The scheme, which is spearheaded by Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green and supported by the Bishop of Norwich, has already received £250,000 to help equip the most vulnerable churches in the county with alarm systems.

But in addition to the £250,000 already donated, which includes £100,000 from the PCC’s office and £50,000 from the Bishop, the public have also dug deep in their pockets and have so far helped to raise £19,840.77.

Public contributions to date will mean that at least six churches in Norfolk can be fitted with alarm systems which cost around £3,000 each.

It is hoped that 55 of the 135 churches in the county deemed to be at the highest risk will have been fitted with alarms by the end of March.

Mr Green said: “I think the Norfolk community at large can be proud of what they have done to date to help preserve our county’s heritage for generations to come.

“We’re the custodians of this heritage not only for ourselves but the nation and indeed for the world.

“We don’t want to be the generation that breaks that chain between out past going back many hundreds of years and the future.”

In December the Rev Peter Cook, from St Mary’s Church, Sedgeford, hailed the Raise the Alarm scheme as an “amazing initiative” after having an alarm fitted.

He said: “With the installation of a roof alarm, much of that worry has been lifted from us.”

• If you would like to contribute to the scheme fill out the donation form or send cheques made payable to Norfolk Community Foundation, ref: Raise the Alarm to Norfolk Community Foundation, St James Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich NR3 1TN.

• Alternatively visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/raisethealarm to make donations via the Virgin Money page.

• To report suspicious activity at a church call police on 101 or if you see a crime in progress call 999.

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