The roof of Wakefield Cathedral has been targeted by lead thefts twice in recent weeks. It is not clear when the thieves first struck, but they returned on Tuesday night. The thieves used the Cathedral’s own ladders on both occasions to strip the precious metal from the roof of the building, which has an 800-year history. The theft comes as the Cathedral is trying to raise £5m for the Cathedral’s transformation scheme, Project 2013.

The Dean of Wakefield Jonathan Greener said: “We can’t believe it’s happened with the Cathedral being slap bang in the city centre and because of the sheer size of the building.

“It’s tragic to see. Not only have they taken the lead, but they have done a lot of damage in the process. We have spent well over £250,000 getting the roof done over the last couple of years and they come along and whip it off and cause all sorts of misery.”

“We’re lucky that it was spotted before the rain came because they risked damaging the very fabric of the Cathedral.”

Darren Rickett, Managing Director of DPR Roofing Wakefield commented, “Lead theft from roofs in Wakefield does continue to be a problem. We have seen a substantial rise in call outs to replace lead work on roofs and also to repair roof damage caused by the thieves.”