MEMBERS of a church are in distress after personal items were stolen following a break in.

St Mary’s Church, on Main Street in Ingleton, was targeted by thieves during the night on March 7.

All items of silverware were stolen from the safe along with some clerical robes.

A window in the North Aisle of the building was also smashed and the clergy vestry door was forced open.

The church believes the perpetrators left the building via the main South doors in the porch which unbolt from the inside.

The window has since been made secure temporarily until a permanent repair can be arranged.

As a result, The Parochial Church Council (PCC) have made the decision to keep the church open as a place of rest and reflection for all who wish to spend time there.

A member of the church council said: “Whilst some items may be of financial value, what is more distressing is the fact that many items will have been donated by families within the village over the year.

“We will consider what further security measures may be appropriate for our church but in the meantime look forward to welcoming parishioners and visitors inside our building.

“We would like to say thank you to the community for their support and for sharing our upset.”

Inquiries are still ongoing.

If anyone has any particular concerns about the incident, contact Rev Nick Trenholme or speak to any of the PCC members.