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All Saints Church.png 1.png
All Saints Church.png
Mae Christie
UK News

'Scammers took £138,000 from our church but I'm praying for the culprits'

by Alex Collett

A church in Tooting, South London, has lost almost £140,000, but they said they are praying for the souls of the perpetrators.

Criminals posed as bank employees and managed to scam two members of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) at All Saints Church out of £138,000.

The church has launched a JustGiving page and it has already raised almost more than £4000. The money will be used to cover immediate costs.

They are waiting to hear from Lloyds Bank pending their investigation to see if they can help, as currently they only have only £1 in their bank account. 

Rev Mae Christie from All Saints Church told Premier it's been a tough week: "I'm offended by it all and the scammers were very believable, they sounded very professional and one of our church officers thought she was doing the right thing to protect the church accounts.

"They took control of their computers and I know that in hindsight, it sounds like a really bad idea.

"But when presented with people claiming to be the bank hoping to protect their private bank accounts and also the church bank accounts, the church officers were just trying to protect the church.

Rev Christie says the savings they lost were needed for important repairs to the church. She said: "The reserves were there for us to do our roof project, which will cost us well over £120,000 to do. 

"It's not even a total reroofing, but for a church building - that is this the height of my building - the scaffolding alone is an eye watering cost."

"A significant portion was also reserved for our organ fund."

Rev Christie has asked people to pray for her and the church at this time: "Prayer is the most important thing that we could have right now.

"I would ask that people pray, first and foremost, for my church officers, who are so fantastic and I genuinely cannot emphasise enough that I do not believe it was their fault, that this is a sophisticated criminal activity that's been perpetrated.

"Please do pray for Lloyds Bank, our bank, who are currently having a big panel meeting over what they will do about the money that has been lost. 

"So do pray for them to make good wise and compassionate decisions. 

"The other one is, please do pray for the people that did the scam, I fundamentally believe that they're missing something in their lives. 

"I don't know them personally, but they are missing something to behave in this way, something which will not be filled by money."

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