Churchman goes aloft to hold on to his lead.

Forget the global financial meltdown for one second (go on, it is possible, just shut your eyes) and think about the other crisis enveloping the insurance industry: metal theft.

Readers may have noticed the wave of lead thefts from churches and schools that have blighted the results of insurers such as Ecclesiastical.

While Ecclesiastical has hired private investigators in an attempt to address the problem, it appears one vicar has taken matters into his own hands.

The Metro reports that the rector of All Saints church in Great Harrowden, Northamptonshire, has spent two weeks sleeping in his church tower on a blow-up mattress in an attempt to put off thieves who had already stolen £70,000 of roof lead.

The Rev Simon Dommett said: “It isn’t the most comfortable night’s sleep.”