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St Margaret's Church in Rainham cancels morning services after thieves break-in overnight

A church has cancelled its morning services after thieves ransacked the building causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Vicar Nathan Ward, who met Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday, said St Margaret's Church, in Rainham, were left with no choice but to abandon their 8am and 10.30am mass after the place was raided last night.

KMTV speaks to those directly affected by the break-ins

He explained one of the stained glass windows was smashed and used as an entrance at his church in the High Street.

He said: "A lot of damage was done, probably a few thousand pounds. A window was smashed, then they went into the office and chucked everything about. They even stole our CCTV."

Among other items taken was a small cash sum of less than £200 from the church's collection box.

Thieves broke into the church after smashing a window
Thieves broke into the church after smashing a window

Despite the incident last night Mr Ward, who campaigns against knife violence, churchwardens and congregation members are working hard to be ready for their 6.30pm service.

"We're getting a new CCTV system installed later," he added.

St Margaret's Church in Rainham was targeted by thieves
St Margaret's Church in Rainham was targeted by thieves

“This is a season where we especially think of those whose lives have taken a wrong turn and would welcome an opportunity to meet with those involved so we can help and support them. We bear no ill will.”

“They have caused considerable damage inside the church and will be spending much of today increasing our security."

Police spokesman Jo Pattinson said: "Police were called at around 7.40am on this morning to reports of a break-in at a church in High Street, Rainham.

"Officers attended the scene where a window had been broken and an amount of cash was reported as stolen. Inquires into the incident are ongoing."

Anyone with any information is asked to call Kent Police on 01634 792209 quoting reference 08-0364.

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or by using the anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org.

To get the latest updates on ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

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