Steel roof for theft-hit church?

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THE medieval church of St Margaret at Quadring – one of the most important buildings in the country – is likely to have a steel roof after thieves stripped lead from its nave last year.

Terne-coated steel will be used to mimic the appearance of lead but is virtually worthless to thieves selling metal for cash at scrap yards.

English Heritage describes the grade one listed church as being “within the top three per cent of listed buildings in England”.

Lead theft cost the Church of England an estimated £10million last year and new guidance allows English Heritage to sanction use of alternative materials in certain circumstances.

Rev Ian Walters has submitted a planning application to have the nave re-roofed in terne coated steel and English Heritage is raising no objection given the “vulnerability of the roof in question to further theft” and the “marked isolation” of the church.

A decision is due to be made by South Holland District Council by May 22.