St John’s historic (GRADE 1 LISTED) Church, in Bromsgrove, has had a new roof made from fibreglass because thieves kept stealing the lead – a shocking seven times in just six months. A sad reflection of today’s society but one that is common especially on ancient buildings where there is limited occupation of the building each week. Fibreglass was chosen to ensure the building’s long-term future especially as the existence of this building dates back to the 11th Century. To replace the same area in lead would have cost the church £500,000 and leave the building vulnerable to further attacks, even with the aid of sophisticated anti-theft deterrents. It was decided, after gaining permission from the Chancellor of the Diocese, one of the highest legal authorities in the country on ancient buildings, to use fibreglass for the repairs, which will cost around £70,000.
The picture provides a view of the damage to such an important ancient building. The fibreglass has now been fitted and ensures a leak free roof for many years plus once installed the fibreglass has zero value for thieves.