NUMEROUS Somerset churches have had alarm installed as a charity continues to fight against a wave of lead thefts from church roofs in Somerset.

The Somerset Churches Trust’s (SCT) campaign to stop lead thefts from churches has now ended but help is still available from a national scheme.

SCT trustee Chris Hawkings led the pioneering project, which was launched in March 2018.

The partnership used SCT’s existing grant giving scheme to distribute funds to mainly rural churches in Somerset to enable them to install roof alarms.

Mr Hawkings said: “The campaign had received wide publicity when it was launched including an item on the BBC Points West, local radio and newspapers across the county.”

He added: “The £30,000 Allchurches Trust fund, topped up by our own funds, has seen some 23 churches benefit from grants to install roof alarms, latterly providing up to £2,500 towards the cost of fitting alarm systems.

“Now, as well as running schemes in conjunction with a range of dioceses and local historic churches trusts, Allchurches Trust welcomes applications direct from churches. You can find out more at .”

SCT chairman, Dr Axel Palmer, said: “Rural churches which have stood for 900 years are having their lead roofs stripped.

"This is serious and organised criminality where entire roofs are being stolen. These are attacks on our national heritage with a significant impact on victims and village communities.

“These are not victimless crimes – they go to the heart of rural communities and their dedicated parishioners.

"That’s why we were pleased to trial these grants in our county and are delighted that Allchurches Trust is now making the scheme available nationally.”