Criminals smash their way into church donation box

A donation box was stolen from Sidbury church recently. Ref shs 09-16AW 9732. Picture: Alex Walton

A donation box was stolen from Sidbury church recently. Ref shs 09-16AW 9732. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

‘Mindless’ crooks have stolen much-needed donations from St Giles’ Church in Sidbury.

The stone pillar box, near the entrance of the holy building, was smashed by thieves between 9am and 6pm on Sunday.

The culprits inflicted the damage using the church’s fire extinguisher

The church is running at a deficit and relies on the goodwill of visitors and its congregation.

Julia Stevens, churchwarden for St Giles’ Church in Sidbury and St Peter’s Church in Sidford, said it was fortunate the box had been emptied earlier in the week.

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She added: “The church is open every day for people to visit for silent prayer, or to just enjoy the history of this wonderful church.

“Luckily, the pillar had been emptied last Wednesday so would of had very little money in it.”

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Deputy churchwarden Pam Ward discovered that the box had been broken into when she returned to lock-up the building up at 6.15pm on Sunday.

The Reverend Susie Williams added: “It’s just frustrating. We’re trying to keep the building open and people do find it as a place of sanctuary and peace.

“It’s such a great community and the church is right in the middle of the village and has been for centuries.

“The food bank is run by church members - we’re doing what we can to help those in the community that really need help. For someone to steal from us, you feel violated.”

Anyone with any information on the incident can contact police by calling 101, crime reference: CR/000588/16.

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