Metal railings may not have been enough to protect one church from lead thieves, so it has taken quite drastic measures to protect itself.

St Nicholas' Church in Skirbeck, Lincolnshire, has opted to install a stainless steel roof - making it one of the first in the country to have done so.

Following nine lead thefts, the church decided it was time to take action, although it did face some resistance from English Heritage.

The organisation argued that non-traditional roofing materials should not be used on such buildings, but with all the lead gone, the church was left with little option.

Vicar of St Nicholas' Father Paul Noble commented: "We planned to put lead back on the roof again and had got to the stage of getting official permission for work to be done when we had even more lead stolen."

He added that as the lead was the reason the church was being targeted, it seemed foolish to give the thieves yet more reason to return.

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