RYE Harbour church has suffered water damage after thieves tried to strip lead flashing from the roof.
The theft happened shortly after a big commununity effort to tidy up the churchyard.
Resident Kate Allinson said: “It is sad that it happened after all that hard work by villagers.
“The stealing of the lead is a common problem for churches, but since Rye Harbour Churchs’ lead has been ‘Smart Watered’, a system identifying where the lead comes from,stealing it is rather pointless as it makes it worthless to thieves as it is easily identified as being stolen.”
Commneting on the effort to improve the churchyard, Kate said: “Many villagers turned out armed with all manner of equipment and together gave the churchyard a haircut such as it hasn’t seen in years.
“Overgrown areas of brambles and graves choked with weeds were attacked with vigour and over 11 one tonne bags were filled.
The sun broke through and started to shine again on areas of the churchyard which haven’t seen the light of day for years.
“Eager villagers set to with one aim, to restore the old churchyard to its former glory. The work is ongoing as keeping weeds down will require continual attention but thanks must go to all who worked so hard to make such a difference. It Couldn’t have been done it without everyone pulling together and shows the intense pride the village has in its church.”