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Repeated break-ins threaten to end much-needed church foodbank

by Sophie Drew

A church providing vital foodbank services to people living in Doncaster may have to close its doors following a spree of vandal attacks.

St John’s Evangelist Church has been repeatedly targeted; most recently, a 150-year-old stained glass window was smashed so thieves could gain entry.

Now, the church says they won’t be able to continue their work if further break-ins occur, due to the overwhelming cost of repairs.

In a social media post last month, before the most recent attack occurred, Rev Derek Pamment said: “After most of the food was stolen, we offered a very limited service and had to deal with tears from some truly desperate individuals.

"We are praying for the individuals who are breaking into the church.

"Not only are they breaking into a sacred space that has served the community for the last 175 years, they are creating increased costs and stealing food from some of the most needy in our community. Food which is given away four mornings a week.

“Despite this distressing series of break ins, our team of staff and volunteers have maintained the service and continue to serve an ever growing number of people.”

Earlier this year, figures from the Office for Health, Improvement and Disparities found 44 per cent of people in Doncaster are experiencing food insecurity.

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