Churches are especially vulnerable to lead theft at the moment, with the rising price of scrap metal providing encouragement to thieves.

However, rather than let them steal lead as they please, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is asking churches to re-evaluate their security measures to keep thieves out.

It has teamed up with the Lead Sheet Association to offer practical advice, which suggests that the installation of security fencing could well be a good idea.

"While the cost of installing security measures is sometimes seen as a 'luxury' expense, making uninformed decisions when sourcing security can often lead to costly repercussions in the long run," explained chief executive of the BSIA James Kelly.

The group advised that it is far from just structural damage that can arise from metal theft, as furnishings and items inside the church may also suffer.

Furthermore, regular services and special events held at the church may have to be postponed.

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