A THIEF stealing lead from a church roof gave up after putting his foot through a porch roof.

He managed to take about four metres of lead strips before slipping through the roof at Zion Baptist Church, in Creech St Michael.

Assistant Minister Gary Birch said he believes the culprit then made off.

Mr Birch said the roof over the porch was being renovated after a recent accident and there were no tiles on at the time of the incident last Wednesday evening.

He added: "I came down to the office on Thursday morning and noticed some of the roofing on the floor, looked up and saw a gaping hole in the roof.

"At first I thought it may have been kids but after seeing some of the lead strip had been taken, I imagine the thief either put their foot through the thin board or fell through completely."

It is the second time lead thieves have targeted Zion.

Mr Birch said the culprit may also have been put off because the replacement strips put in after the last theft had sticky, black, anti-theft paint underneath.