Thieves swipe church collection

HEARTLESS thieves stole collection plate money from a Ponteland church.

Between Friday, January 6, and Monday, January 16, they broke into an office area of St Mary’s Church, North Road, and took about £20 as well as the bowl it was in before making off unseen.

They also damaged one of the door panels to enter the room.

Rev Peter Barham, Vicar of Ponteland, said: “We leave the church open and lots of people wander through to say their prayers and enjoy some peace and space.

“It’s such a shame that some idiots have come through and kicked one of the panels off an office door and gone inside to see what they could get.

“Even if we do get the money back, it will cost more to replace the door panel.

“But we will not let the thieves spoil things for everyone else as we will keep the main part of the church open.”

Acting East Tynedale Neighbourhood Inspector Mick Stephenson said: “Breaking into and stealing from a church is disgusting behaviour. We need to identify whoever has done this and bring them to justice.”

Anyone with information about the theft can contact officers on 101, extension 69191.