Church to replace vestry roof with non-lead substitute to deter thieves

St Philips and St James Church has been granted permission to replace a small section of the church roof.

The church can now go ahead with plans to replace the flat vestry roof, located on the north-eastern corner of the building, with terne coated stainless steel.

Unfortunately, in July 2018 the lead was stolen from the vestry flat roof, which cannot be seen from ground level; it can only be seen from the tower or when stood on the vestry roof itself.

The PCC have been very keen to repair the vestry flat roof as soon as possible to prevent any further damage to the interior of the church and applied for planning permission to re-roof using terne coated stainless steel, to avoid the roof materials being stolen again because terne coated stainless steel has no resale value and is therefore not of any interest to thieves, but retains an appearance similar to lead.

Rev'd Robin Pye said "We have to raise a total just over £9,000 to cover the amount not covered by our insurance. So far we have raised just over £2,000 of this and had a very generous offer of help in kind from a local plasterer."

The Grade II* listed building was constructed in 1850 to a design by the Manchester based architect J. S. Crowther. The south aisle, south porch, tower and spire, also to the design of J. S. Crowther, were added some ten years later. The vestry extension was then constructed to the north of the chancel in 1903 and re-roofed with lead some ten to fifteen years ago.

The planning application states "The vestry and its roof specifically are therefore not of significance in the context of the church building as a whole. The significance of the church building will not be affected by the re-roofing of the vestry with terne coated stainless steel."

Cheshire East Council has granted planning permission, with the Case Officer stating "The proposed new roofing would be of an acceptable design that would not have a detrimental impact upon the character and quality of the Listed Building.

"No issues would be created with regards to; amenity, highway safety, trees, flood risk or drainage."

Photos: St Philips And St James Church, the vestry from the north side of the church, the vestry roof to the north side of the church in its current state and internal water damage to vestry.

St Philip and St James Church


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Charlie Gaughan
Wednesday 5th December 2018 at 2:55 am
How sad it’s always happens lead from church roofs there’s no respect
Duncan Herald
Wednesday 5th December 2018 at 9:52 am
A Bell, a Book and a Candle please !