Multiple churches in Bath have fallen victim to vandals, with the perpetrators making off with thousands of pounds in lead from their roofs.
The spree has resulted in one Grade-I listed church experiencing “catastrophic leaking” as a result of the insufficient roofing.
Over Christmas, thieves targeted All Saints Church in Weston Village multiple times, despite church staffs efforts to fix the damage.
The first theft resulted in water pouring through the roof of the toilets and the vestry just hours before the annual Christmas carol service, BBC News reports.
As he tried to provide a temporary solution to the damage, whilst braving the pouring rain, Rev Tom Yacomeni took to social media to tell parishioners he was “trying and somewhat failing” to love his enemies.
Speaking to BBC Points West, he said: "As a church we would rather spend money on helping out the community, especially in a cost of living crisis.
"Instead we are using it to replace stolen lead."
St Thomas a Becket Church saw all their robes damaged by leaking after they were recently targeted by thieves.
In October 2022, Ecclesiastical Insurance – who insure many of the UK’s most prominent churches – said nine in ten churches had suffered a crime during the last year.
They report that, on average, crime cost heritage organisations (including church trusts) more than £60,000 in 2022.