New roof blessed by Bishop
At New Year, St Nicholas, Great Hormead celebrated its new side aisle roof after numerous lead thefts since the 1950s and four since 2010.
Bishop Michael blessed the new roof from a cherry-picker, and was blessed with a cloudless winter sky for the task. Long may the new roof last! Surely that was part of Bishop Michael’s blessing.
The Church Buildings Council and Historic England recognise the huge difficulties parishes face if lead or other high-value materials are stolen and their guidance suggests alternatives to enable parishes to keep the roof on their treasured historic churches. As with all building matters, churches exploring alternatives after a lead theft must contact their Archdeacon and the Diocesan Advisory Committee.
At present the DAC and the Beds & Herts Historic Churches Trust are encouraging parishes to make sure lead and copper are protected with Smartwater and roof alarms,
which also means full insurance cover will be available. Grants towards the cost of a roof alarm can be obtained via BHHCT. Details are on the Church Buildings pages of the diocesan website.
Bishop Michael said:
“I have seen many parishes which have experienced how utterly dispiriting it is to have lead stolen. I pay tribute to the determined people of Great Hormead who have shown great fortitude and now have a roof which cannot be stolen again.”