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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007, 02:29 GMT 03:29 UK
New metal roof stolen from church
Thieves have stripped metals from a church roof just days before a massive restoration project was due to finish.

St Mary's Church in Garsington was targeted on Tuesday night for the copper and lead on the roof and guttering of the 12th century building.

The restoration work, which cost more than 200,000, was due to be completed within a week, but damage put at at 50,000 has been done by the thieves.

Ancient parapet stonework was smashed and dislodged.

More fundraising

The church hopes the bill will be covered by insurance and extra fundraising.

Church Warden Mike Rothery branded the thieves 'mindless vandals'.

In a statement he said: "We cannot any longer say that the works are nearly complete, and will give a revised date as soon as we are able to."

A planned special celebration service at the church on 14 October may have to be postponed until repairs are completed.

The wedding scene in the film Amazing Grace was filmed at the church.

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