Friday, 12 December 2014

Cherish Our Churches - Defeat the Thieves!

I've just read the following plea made by Paul Hodge on the Norfolk Churches Facebook group page and wanted to share it here, as we attract a different demographic. 

"Reward to catch thieves
Lead thefts have more than doubled year-on-year in the Norfolk, Ely and St Edmundsbury dioceses. In 2013, there were 11 attacks, while this year there have been around 25.
Repairing damage done by thieves can cost thousands more than the price of the lead if water pours into ancient timbers and medieval masonry before the theft is discovered.
The EDP (Eastern Daily Press) has launched a £1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of roof raiders.
We are urging organisations, trusts and local authorities to support our campaign and add to the reward and help us snare the thieves.
Do you have information about lead theft? Call Norfolk police on 101. To support our campaign e-mail"

The Ragged Society of Antiquarian Ramblers are fully in support of this campaign. We cherish our churches and will do everything we can to encourage people to look out, and look after, them. 

A Plea to our Followers...
As regular visitors here will know, we have our own distinctive approach to heritage. We are often playful explorers of the English tradition of antiquarianism and eccentricity. We 'do different' and because of that we are attracting phenomenal visitor hits, in the hundreds of thousands. Here is a direct plea to our followers: if you live locally, then please spread word about this campaign to protect our churches. If you live afar and want to help protect the treasures that we so often share with you here, then please do invest in this heritage by offering a donation to bolster the reward to catch the thieves. 

In the longer term, one way we can help to protect our churches is to actively engage new visitors and audiences, and share our sense of wonder and love of churches with them. Engagement leads to a sense of ownership; ownership inspires people to act as custodians. It's about time some imagination and creativity was brought to the challenge of relating our ancient heritage to contemporary sensibilities and concerns. At present, many - maybe most! - people couldn't give a damn about our heritage. We need to reach them where they are starting from ie outreach, virtually and face-to-face where possible. 

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