A CHURCH repeatedly attacked by thieves and vandals must raise more than £50,000 to pay for repairs.
Members of the St John’s Church community were forced out of the main worship building after water poured in when copper was stolen from the roof and have been forced to hold services in the hall.
Auctions, concerts and the sale of the congregation gold and silver has so far raised £30,000 to help re-build the Thornton church, but more is needed.
Rev Paul Clemence, from the Stanah Road church, told The Gazette: “After the second theft in June it revealed a design fault in the roof dating back to the 1960s.
“This effectively meant water was getting into the church and making the roof unstable.
“The task we have been set is to not only repair the roof but substantially make repairs to the church.”
Scaffolding has been put up in the church to help support the structure which has given the alter an ugly appearance and led to less weddings being booked in at the venue.
Rev Clemence added: “The thefts are an issue of human selfishness and it’s an epidemic across the country.
“It’s not only selfish but anti-social and anti-community.
“It’s upsetting and feels similar to a thief going into your house and damaging it.”
The church still needs more than £20,000 to cover the repairs and pay for a non-metal, worthless material to be fitted on the roof to deter thieves.
Angela Turner-Jones regularly attends the church and has organised the latest auction on November 10.
She said: “It’s such a shame this keeps happening because the church is losing out.
“We need to get the money together as soon as possible because with the amount of rain we’ve had it’s just going to get worse.
“We really need businesses to donate prizes for our auction and help us get the money together.”
The auction is being held at the church from 7pm on November 10.
For more information call (01253) 825107.