Theft of Metal from Church Roofs: Replacement Materials

This advice note sets out Historic England’s response to lead theft, which continues to affect historic parish churches. We recognise that these heritage crimes are upsetting, expensive and challenging for congregations.

This updated advice on replacement materials is intended to give maximum clarity to congregations who are still dealing with the consequences of the sharp rise in the number, severity and geographical spread of metal thefts from church roofs since publication of our previous advice note in 2017.


  1. Introduction
  2. Why are metal roofs on churches so important?
  3. What is Historic England's approach?
  4. How to decide what alternative materials to use?
  5. Materials for permanent replacement
  6. Materials for temporary replacement
  7. Consent and consultation with Historic England
  8. Trade contacts for appropriately skilled contractors

This note forms part of a package of materials published by Historic England and written to help congregations dealing with metal theft or the risk of metal theft.

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 26
  • Product Code: HEAG305


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