Thieves break in to Petworth church

Damage to St Mary's Church at Petworth
Damage to St Mary's Church at Petworth

Police are investigating after thieves broke into St Mary’s Church at Petworth.

Churchwarden Nick Wheeler said the break-in was discovered as the congregation arrived for morning service on Friday.

“They found a trolley normally inside the church had been taken outside and there was candle wax everywhere. Someone had taken a hammer to the west door, taken chunks out of it and then forced the door open. Also a lead light window had been smashed where the thieves got in. But someone cut themselves rather badly and there was a lot of blood everywhere – police have taken swabs.”

Mr Wheeler said a trunk containing donations had been stolen: “It was heavy because it contained concrete but there was not much money in it. The problem is the damage to the oak door.

“The disappointing thing is the morality of someone who would do this – it’s appalling.”

Anyone with any information is urged to report it online or call 101, quoting serial 384 of 24/08, visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.