Spilsby church counts cost after theft

St James Church in Spilsby. ANL-170425-093315001
St James Church in Spilsby. ANL-170425-093315001

A congregation is counting the cost after thieves broke into a church in Spilsby and stole its sound system.

In what was the second attack on churches in the Skegness area this month, the sound system was taken from St James Church – however, an attempt to chip a collection box out of the wall failed.

It’s all very sad but the church is still open and that is the important thing

Canon Peter Coates

The theft was discovered by Canon Peter Coates when he was preparing for a Stations of the Cross service on Good Friday - the same week St Mary’s Church in Hogsthorpe was targeted by vandals, who tried to set fire and flood the place of worship.

Canon Coates said he was puzzled as to why anyone would want to steal the sound system. He said: “I can’t think it has great resale value or that anyone would want a CD player that’s a foot and a half wide. Whoever did it must have been desperate because they took the hoover at well.

“It’s all very sad but the church is still open and that is the important thing.”

He said he had been aware someone had attempted to remove the donations box earlier in the week but there had been no other apparent signs of crime.

Canon Coates said: “You could see where someone had tried to chip a donations box out of the wall but had failed. I didn’t discover the sound system was missing until later in the week when we were preparing for the Stations of the Cross service.

“It’s an important piece of equipment because many members of the congregation have hearing difficulties and rely on the loop system.

“We use it all the time for weddings and funerals and we expect it’s going to cost about £1,000 to replace.”

Support has come forward from other churches in the town. David Bruce, of the New Life Centre, posted on Facebook: “Another organisation that helps the community targeted. Please help them get their sound system back.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting incident 425 of 31 March.