Good Samaritans from across the North West are coming forward to help replenish food and clothing worth thousands which was stolen from an Accrington church this week.
Hundreds of tins that had been collected to feed the homeless were taken from St James’ Church, along with clothes and toiletries. The church's CD player was also taken.
The break-in is thought to have happened sometime between last Thursday and Monday of this week.
St James’ hosts local kind-hearted group ‘Hyndburn Helpers’ who organise regular meetings at the church to help those in need.
Police are currently investigating the break-in but, in the meantime the Vicar of St James, Rev Ian Enticott, has praised everyone who has been calling him directly with offers of assistance as well as others who have made similar calls to the Hyndburn Helpers.
He also makes a plea the thieves to return what they stole, rather than getting rid of it for what may be a fraction of its worth.
The Vicar, who is also Area Dean of Accrington, said today: “I’m experiencing a mixture of emotions today – sadness because of what has happened – a theft of food and clothing destined for the most vulnerable in society.
“But I’m also thankful for the generosity of friends and strangers who have been calling with offers of help and assistance. They have been coming in from all over the North West … from a foodbank in Manchester to a church in Maghull, Liverpool and the Salvation Army in Preston.
“I have also had many calls from individuals across Lancashire who have heard the news and want to help out in some way. It is very heartening.”
Rev Enticott added: “At the same time I call on the people who carried out the raid to examine their consciences and bring the food and clothing back to us.
“It’s impossible to give an exact figure on the value of everything stolen. It may be in the thousands and the thieves will only get a fraction of that as they try to get rid of it all.”
If you want to help the church and the Hyndburn Helpers replenish their stocks you can make a donation at any bank using the sort code 20-09-72 and account number 73994295 or contact the group on Facebook (search for Hyndburn Helpers).