Police are appealing for witnesses after items – including money from charity boxes and a laptop – were stolen from Lower Wortley Methodist Church.
The offender or offenders ransacked the church and then stole the money and laptop as well as other items including an electronic Casio keyboard and two projectors.
Sgt Chris Craven said:
“It is appalling that someone would target a place of worship in this way. This happened near close to two busy roads and I would appeal to anyone living in the area who saw anything suspicious to get in contact.
“Likewise if anyone is offered any of the items mentioned in a deal that sounds ‘too good to be true’ then call police.”
Posting on Facebook, the church asked its parashioners to pray for the burglars:
“Please pray for those that did this. There is no money in our church and no silver or gold bits like candlesticks.
“We know that sweets and a sleeping bag have gone so they must be very low and very lost to steal from our church.
“I’m not talking about forgiveness, that has to start with them wanting it (which is different from being ‘let off’). I ask that you pray for them to find a better place in their life and that they find a way to a life where they would give instead of stealing. Pray that they find the help that they almost certainly need.
“God will take care of them, whatever way they go. We can only follow Him, and in the Bible he says, ‘bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you’.”
The break-in also affected the food bank that uses the church.
The incident happened at the Branch Road church between 9pm on Monday, 6 March, and 8am on Tuesday, 7 March.
Call police with any information on 101 quoting crime reference 13170105366.