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Church targeted by thieves stealing ‘tea bags, coffee, sugar and biscuits’

The leaded windows the thieves smashed will take about £1,000 to replace as they date back to when the church was built in 1878

Athena Stavrou
Saturday 20 January 2024 19:31 GMT
The church has suffered six burglaries in the last year
The church has suffered six burglaries in the last year (Google Maps)

A church has been targeted for the sixth time in a year by thieves who have got away with “tea bags, coffee, sugar and biscuits”.

The latest in the series of raids on St James’ Woodhouse in Sheffield also saw a 150-year-old stained glass window smashed.

The attacks on the church, bizarrely, often also see items like tea bags, coffee and biscuits taken.

The latest on 13 January saw the thieves break through a wooden barrier placed outside the church following a previous burglary had taken place.

The leaded windows they smashed will cost about £1,000 to replace as they date back to when the church was built in 1878.

“It’s the damage that’s devastating for so little gain,” Reverend June Fox told the BBC. “I feel really sad about the damage, given the age of the windows.”

£1,000 worth of damage was done to 150-year-old windows that were smashed as thieves stole tea and biscuits (PA Archive)

She added: “The last three of four times, they’ve taken tea bags, coffee, sugar, biscuits, something that we would gladly give people if they were in need.

“If you really in that much need for these goods, come and talk to us, come and have tea and toast”

In response to the incident, the local community has set up a JustGiving page to raise funds to help the church.

“[The burglaries are] pushing the church close to closing its doors. We are opening this donation page for the repair of these windows to help keep a historic building active,” said the fundraiser, which has raised £850 so far.

“Together we are stronger. Please help.”

Church leaders are now considering changing their security to combat their huge spike in break-ins and have even considered installing security shutters, the Sheffield Star reports.

“That’s so reassuring that this building means a lot to people,” Mrs Fox told the broadcaster in response to the crowdfunder.

“Woodhouse is an amazing community in that respect, it’s really come together.”

South Yorkshire Police confirmed to the BBC that it had “fully investigated” the incidents, but no suspects had been identified.

“These investigations have since been filed pending any further investigative opportunities coming to light,” a spokesperson said.

The Independent has contacted South Yorkshire Police for a comment.

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