A church is desperately seeking funds after suffering continuous water damage because thieves stole lead from its roof.

Wanstead United Reformed Church, in Nightingale Lane, is appealing for donations to cover the costs of repairs which contractors say will be around £2,500.

The hole in the roof left following the theft has been temporarily covered up, but rain is still leaking through into the kitchen of the church.

Church elder Chris Walker said: "As well as a certain amount of decorative damage, water penetrated into the oak floor, door frame and door into the Cromwell Hall.

“These areas may have to be replaced completely if they do not dry out sufficiently.”

Mr Walker suspects thieves noticed the lead on the church roof while steeling the metal from the roof of Treehouse Nursery School in Woodbine Place, last year.

He said: “You can tell the lead was just ripped off by somebody and wasn’t taken off or blown off.

“It is highly inconvenient as we have to keep mopping the floors and monitoring it.

“I have no idea when this will get fixed or how long we will have to put up with this for – how long is a piece of string.”

A lead substitute material with an anti-theft coating will be used to repair and replace the damaged roof sections once funding is found.

The church are appealing for residents to attend a string quartet concert on March 7 and the church’s spring fair on April 5 to help raise money for the cause.

To make a donation, contact Mr Walker on 0208 989 2426.