The St James’ Church in Woodhouse, Sheffield, was broken into and a 170-year-old stained-glass window was deliberately smashed.
The historic building in Woodhouse, Sheffield, survived both world wars without damage. It had nothing of significant value inside; thieves stole tea, biscuits, and coffee that the church say they would have gladly given for free, if asked.
The incident marks the church’s fourth burglary in the past year, with the most recent occurring less than a month ago, when the thieves stole a box of Quality Street chocolates.
Rev June Fox expressed her disbelief to the Sheffield Star, “It is a senseless act; we are all appalled. It is really beyond understanding, to target a church that offers so much to those in need; they could’ve just asked.”
The church plays a significant role in the local community, offering drop-in breakfasts and a food bank.
The damaged window, with a rose-coloured border and lead setting, requires complete dismantling for repairs. Michael Fogg, a funeral director associated with the church, pledged to cover the full cost of the window repair after initially offering a donation and discovering the bill would be £1,000.
St James’ has received support from the Woodhouse community, with an online JustGiving page amassing over £350 and additional donations from local residents and businesses.
St James’ is now contemplating security enhancements, including the possibility of security shutters, to address the surge in break-ins to the property.
The church says it remains committed to serving the community without compromising its welcoming appearance.
(Picture Courtesy: Facebook, St James, Woodhouse)