A church that had its roof stripped of lead weeks before Christmas is now applying for grant funding to help repair the damage.

Church-goers were left 'devastated' after the lead was taken from the Grade-II* listed church in Offord Cluny.

The lead was stolen from All Saints Church on November 17, with villagers only realising it had happened when a piece of lead with a distinguishing mark was left by thieves in the churchyard.

Parishioners are now approaching grant bodies for funding to fix the roof, while a temporary structure has been installed to keep the building water tight. Reverend Jes Salt, who is the priest in charge at All Saints, said:

“We are now working with our architect, the church authorities and, as All Saints is a listed building, body such as Historic England to agree a specification for a new permanent roof, which we hope will be made of steel. Unfortunately, the insurance will only cover a small part of the cost, so we will be approaching major grant funding bodies for their assistance.”

It is unknown at this stage how much the work will cost.

The theft came just a week after hundreds of villagers joined services of remembrance held on Armistice Day in the parish.

Rev Salt is also hoping to complete some other repairs for the church, to try and encourage more people to visit.

He said: “We are also planning to do some much-needed repairs and refurbishment to the interior of the church. These include repairs to the drams and some necessary redecoration. However, most importantly we also intend to improve our facilities by having running water installed.

“This will mean that we can fit a toilet onsite and refreshment facilities. In order to do this we will be removing the pews in the south west corner of the church to provide space for the refreshment station.”