Following the theft of the lead from St Andrew’s church in Billingborough, the community have rallied around to help in any way they can with donations, offers of practical help and time.

The first task was to protect the roof from more rain and as a temporary measure Fr. Neil Knox, Interim Priest in Charge in the Billingborough Group, churchwarden Geoff Hallam and Fundraising Lead Trevor Wells grabbed a hammer apiece and installed some temporary plastic sheeting.

However, the weather in the Fens soon made short work of that and with rain still pouring in they had to think again. Braving the cold and the wind up on the South Aisle roof, the merry band of workmen removed all the remaining damaged lead and installed roofing felt to make it watertight. This will hopefully ensure that all the Advent and Christmas events will remain dry, until a more permanent solution is found early next year.

Fr. Neil Knox said: “Our church is a community hub and we have a very busy schedule of events throughout Advent and Christmas so it would have been devastating if he hadn’t been able to continue with those as a result of this unfortunate event, but we are resilient and determined to carry on with ‘business as usual’.

“The community has been wonderful with both local business and people holding fundraising raffles, offering donations, time and even practical help for which we are extremely grateful. Whilst, it has been upsetting for everyone, we remain unwavering in our desire to continue with our missional activities that are so important in our rural community, particularly at this time of year. Churches are places in which we worship the life of Jesus; they are often essential sanctuaries for those who want to remember a loved one, celebrate a key life event and a springboard from which we carry out our work in the community.”