A TOWN centre church suffered major water damage after cold-hearted crooks stripped the lead from its roof.

The thieves clambered onto the roof of Trinity Methodist Church in Pier Avenue, Clacton, to get at the metal.

Church chiefs noticed something was wrong when water started leaking into the building after a heavy rainfall.

Steward Paul Marshall said: “It has caused a large amount of damage, externally and internally with the water damage.

“The estimated cost of repair is about £2,000. We have been working towards redeveloping our church and this is a setback."

The damaged roof was patched up to make it water tight and is now undergoing a full repair, while the interior has been painted where it was damaged by rainwater.

Anyone who spotted suspicious activity around the church over the last few weeks should contact police in Clacton on 101.

Read the full story in this week's Clacton Gazette, out now.