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'It is a senseless act, we are all appalled': Sheffield vicar stunned by fourth burglary in 12 months

by Premier Journalist
St James' Church Sheffield.png - Banner image

Members of St James’ Church in Woodhouse, Sheffield, were devastated on Tuesday when they discovered a 170-year-old stained-glass window had been deliberately smashed after the church was broken into.

The historic building, which had survived both world wars without damage, had nothing of significant value inside; however, thieves stole tea, biscuits, and coffee that the church say they would have gladly given for free, if asked.

This 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, stating, “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.

“It is a senseless act; we are all appalled,” Fox told the Sheffield Star.

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.

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