A Victorian stained glass window has been smashed by a man who allegedly stole money from a collection box in St Wulfram’s Church.
The cost of the damage to the window is believed to be about £15,000.
Around £150 went missing from the box after an evening service last Sunday. The person who took the money is then believed to have got out of the locked church by smashing part of the south-west window, which is currently undergoing repairs.
Rector of St Wulfram’s Father Stuart Cradduck said he believes someone smashed the collection box at the back of the church after hiding in the building during the service. After the service the church was was locked and alarmed. Fr Stuart believes that on finding no obvious way out of the church, someone climbed the workmen’s scaffold on the south-west window, smashed the image of Christ at the top and escaped.
The scaffolding at the window had been put up to carry out essential and urgent repairs to the stonework surrounding it, which is estimated will cost about £100,000.
Fr Stuart told the Journal: “The damage to one of the finest Victorian windows in the church is significant, and will cost at least £15,000 to repair, in addition to the huge repair bill for the stonework.”
He added: “I am very saddened by the whole issue. A burglary is a very disturbing experience. The whole issue about how we fund the urgent repairs to this window are already a great concern to us.
“We are grateful for the excellent work by Lincolnshire Police in apprehending the individual. We assume that the gentleman who carried out this act must be in need and so are praying for him and his family at this difficult time.”
CCTV images helped police capture the suspect, who has since been charged in connection with the incident.