Blackburn church takes action after spate of paving stone thefts
12:04pm Tuesday 3rd December 2013 in News
A CHURCH’S York paving stones have been water-marked after a spate of thefts.
Adrian Schofield, secre-tary at Holy Trinity Church, in Blackburn, said thieves had targeted the Mount Pleasant church so many times in recent months that he spent £1,000 of his own money on measures to try to deter them.
CCTV is also to be put in place to capture anybody attempting to steal from the disused church.
Mr Schofield said: “Any-one who wishes to steal from our church will find that with our use of technology they will be caught and prosecuted.
“We will also consider taking a private prosecution on any individuals caught to recover the restoration of our property.”
In one of the latest attacks, 10 stones were taken from Holy Trinity in October. The Gothic-style Victorian church was built between 1837 and 1846 by Edmund Sharpe.
It has a flat timber ceiling with a series of 80 painted heraldic panels, mostly commemorating families who contributed to the construction of the church.
Sharpe also created the plans for St Mark’s Church, in Buncer Lane, Blackburn, and Christ Church at Chatburn.
Mr Schofield said: “It is not fair for worshippers that people are sealing the paving.
“It should not be happening and I am sure they would not like it if somebody stole the paving from outside their home.
“York paving is very expensive and sought after and it gives the church a lot of character, which will be lost if all we have is a great gaping hole where it used to be.”
He also asked house-holders having building work done to be careful who they bought stones from.
Mr Schofield said: “People who buy any stolen paving from our church will be buying forensically-marked paving and will also be liable to prosecution for receiving stolen property.
“They should be very careful where they buy paving from.”
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