16th Century Stained-glass at Shrewsbury tragically damaged in break-in

11 Jun 2019

On Sunday 9th June 2019 the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Shrewsbury, was broken into through one of the unique sixteenth century glass windows. Believed to have been taken from a Renaissance painting, which hangs in Venice, the glass depicted the son of Emperor Manuel I of Constantinople. Initial reports suggest that repairing and restoring the window is likely to cost at least  £10,000.

Heritage crime is a critical problem for churches and sadly churches in our care are not exempt. Broken stained-glass is not the only form of heritage crime that we are facing. In 2013 two priceless medieval painted panels were forcibly removed from a delicate wooden rood screen at Torbryan. Furthermore across the country lead theft has caused substantial damage to some of our churches and we now face a repair bill of over £2 million to deal with just lead theft.

We are working closely with heritage partners, local communities and the police to tackle heritage crime but we are on the defensive and are actively taking measures to protect our 353 churches - this is why we urgently need your help to fight back against heritage crime.

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Churches Conservation Trust and to mark this milestone our Chief Executive, Peter Aiers, is racing against the clock to raise awareness and raise crucial funds to fight back with The Great National Steeple Chase. He will be visiting 50 CCT churches across the country in just 50 hours. We are searching for people to sponsor him on this challenge and your sponsorship will have a real impact in helping us to fight back. Your sponsoring will enable us:

Please sponsor our Chief Executive on The Great National Steeple Chase and join the fight against heritage crime:

  • £25 will pay for the registration of items on the appropriate Art Loss registers
  • £50 to support the cost of a skills training day for Volunteer Guardians
  • £100 would fund a security audit of one of our major churches
  • £250 to help fund the installation of a trembler alarm
  • £500 will contribute to the provision of a security system
  • £1,000 enables us to cover the installation costs of a PV (solar) cell to power cameras
  • £5,000 would fund the installation of a roof alarm

Sponsor Peter today and join the fight to protect our heritage.