Hove church's stained-glass windows smashed as thieves steal collection box on Christmas Day (From The Argus)
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Hove church's stained-glass windows smashed as thieves steal collection box on Christmas Day
Thieves broke into a church on Christmas Day, smashed thousands of pounds worth of stained glass windows and stole a collection box containing hundreds of pounds.
The offenders targeted All Saints Church on the corner of Eaton Road and The Drive, Hove, just hours after midnight mass on Wednesday.
They smashed numerous pieces of Victorian stained glass windows, a set of glass doors and stole a collection box containing around £500.
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The church had just started an appeal among its congregation to try and raise around £45,000 to get the windows and the stone mullions they sat on repaired.
But now All Saints warden Michael Anderson fears the church will instead have to fork out around £10,000 in repair bills.
Father Phil Ritchie, the vicar at All Saints, said he was feeling “low and disappointed”.He said: “We didn't have a service until 10am on Christmas morning but I arrived at about 8am. I went inside and saw a massive pile of glass where we'd just had new beautiful doors installed.
“I stepped over it and saw beautiful stained glass windows ripped out and thrown to the ground.
“It was the saddest thing.
“I was worried that someone was still in the church as I was in there by myself, but soon realised the donations box had gone too.“The church is a Grade I listed building and we're trying to raise money to get the windows repaired. But now instead of raising money we've got a big repair bill and stolen collection from midnight mass.
“It's a bit sick really.”
Father Ritchie said he locked the church up at around 12.40am following midnight mass and the culprits smashed their way in between then and 8am.
He added: “It's been such a great Christmas. The church was packed for midnight mass, we've had lots of events and have engaged with the community. I'm low and disappointed that it has happened when we're trying to make it a building that serves Hove well.”
A spokesman from Sussex Police said: “On Christmas morning we received a report that sometime between 1am and 8am a thief or thieves had broken in to All Saints Church in Eaton Road, Hove, by smashing a side window, smashed open an inside door, broke open the charity box and took the cash inside. No arrests have been made. Anyone who was in the area in the early hours of
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