A beloved village church hit by four break ins in four weeks has issued a plea for help.
There was ‘outrage’ in the community after St Mary’s Church in Barnham was hit again and again by thieves earlier this year.
Father Martin Powell, rector of the parish, said: “It has been very shocking to church members, and the wider parish, this has happened on such a scale.
“There is a sense of outrage that this has happened to this holy place, but we pray for all those who feel they have no choice but to commit such crimes.”
Gardening equipment was among the items taken during the thefts, which have also seen windows smashed and a church wall safe damaged.
Now the church is asking for help to fix the damage and to invest in new security.
Churchgoers upset at the damage have set up a JustGiving page, which says: “The cost of repairs and basic security measures all falls on our small congregation.
“We have no access to central funds and so we are trying to raise £5000.00.
“St Mary’s has been at the heart of our village for 1000 years – please help us ensure that it remains open as a safe and welcoming place for everyone in our village and beyond.”
The money would go towards fixing the damage, a new CCTV system and grilles to protect the stained glass windows.
There will be a gift day with cream tea on Sunday, July 29 between 2.30pm and 5.30pm at the church, everyone welcome.