VILLAGERS are rallying together to raise funds for its medieval church after it was targeted by vandals.

St Laurence’s Church in Pittington was targeted by would-be lead thieves in January, who climbed onto the roof to try and steal the metal – only to discover it had already been taken several years earlier.

Instead, the roof was damaged and needed repair work which cost around £2,000.

Loading article content

Church warden Dave Arnott said: “We’ve had the lead stolen a few times so we replaced it with plastic.

“The kids were so thick they came came back and stole the plastic which is completely worthless.

“We have a lot of maintenance to do but it’s even worse when someone comes and causes so much damage. The community was really upset about the church being targeted by mindless vandals.”

Members of the wider community are now helping out to raise much-needed funds for the upkeep of the Grade I listed Norman church.

Resident Josie Osborne is holding a preloved and craft fair in the village hall on Saturday, June 10.

She said: “I don’t go to the church but I wanted to try something different and help.

“I enjoy walking where the church is and a lot of things in our village are closing down. All the proceeds are going to the church because it needs funding to keep it open.

“I’ve had hundreds of donations from people for the preloved sale and so many volunteers are coming to help out on the day.”

The sale takes place between 11am and 2pm and will also include a tombola and refreshments.

Reverend Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes said: “Pittington is quite a small church and it runs on a shoestring so it was very disheartening for the small group of people who keep it going for the community.

“To have people stepping up from the wider community is really lovely. When people found out about the roof they were saying it was really unfair and there was a huge outpouring of support from the community.”

She added: “We don’t have a lot of reserves and there’s always ongoing maintenance work to be done. When you’re dealing with a Grade I listed building that adds all sorts of expenses.”

The church’s Benefice Choir is putting on a performance of a medley of songs on the evening of Saturday, June 24, starting at 7pm.

The evening will include popular as well as church music. Entry is by a suggested donation of £5.