A HISTORIC church has held fundraiser after lead was stolen from its roof.

A total of 24 metres of lead was stolen from the roof of St Mark's Church in Ampfield on the night of July 24.

The ridgeline of the entire nave and chancel of the church had also been destroyed following the theft.

Now, St Mark's Church has held a cream tea event to raise funds for the replacement of the damage.

They managed to raise a total of £450. More than 60 people turned up to enjoy cream tea and donate towards the repair.

Reverend Victoria Ashdown, of St Mark's, said: "It was great - over 60 people from the community came and raised £450.

"We mainly had it because we like having cream tea rather than fundraising - it was nice."

The historic church have had a quote of £1,400 to repair the roof and replace the lead.

She added: "The question is, do we replace the lead with lead or something else which isn't likely to be stolen."

They have no future plans of fundraising as they are hoping that insurance is able to cover most of the cost.

Rev Victoria added: "We are always looking at ways to help, we would have preferred to given them a few hundred pounds rather than paying £1,400.

"The lead is not worth anything near the cost to replace it."

The Church of England in Ampfield, Chilworth and North Baddesley have urged the culprit to come forward and have explained the dangers of standing on a church roof.

There are temporary tarpaulin and repairs to stop rain from entering the church.

Hampshire Police issued the following statement: “Between Wednesday 24th July 2019 and Thursday 25th July 2019 offenders have removed lead from the roof of St Mark's Church in Ampfield.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting 44190260915.”