LEEDS CHURCH THEFT: Compassionate plea to 'pray for thieves' to change their ways

Lower Wortley Methodist Church. Pic: Google.
Lower Wortley Methodist Church. Pic: Google.
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Leaders at a Leeds church that was broken into have issued a compassionate statement asking people to pray for the thieves to change their ways.

The thieves targeted Lower Wortley Methodist Church between 9pm on Monday and 8am on Tuesday, stealing money from charity boxes, a laptop and projectors among other items.

And in a statement, the church asked people on social media to pray for the perpetrators for them to "give instead of stealing" and find help.

POLICE APPEAL FOR WITNESSES TO LEEDS CHURCH THEFT
The Branch Road church said on Facebook: "We are not expecting a lot to be taken because there wasn't masses of stuff to take. Please pray for us.

"I am also asking for you to do something hard, that I am going to struggle with, but it's the right thing to do. Please pray for those that did this.

"There is no money in our church and no silver or gold bits like candlesticks. We know that sweets and a sleeping bag have gone so they must be very low and very lost to steal from our church."

The statement was posted on Wednesday morning, after church members realised a break-in had happened.

Police today (Thursday) appealed for information and branded the theft at the church, based close to the busy A6110 Wortley ring road, as "appalling".

The church statement added: "I'm not talking about forgiveness, that has to start with them wanting it (which is different from being 'let off').

"I ask that you pray for them to find a better place in their life and that they find a way to a life where they would give instead of stealing.

"Pray that they find the help that they almost certainly need."

The church said the break-in could also affect Wortley's local food bank stores.

Sergeant Chris Craven said: "It is appalling that someone would target a place of worship in this way.

"This happened near close to two busy roads (the church is on Branch Road and very close to the A6110 ring road) and I would appeal to anyone living in the area who saw anything suspicious to get in contact.

"Likewise if anyone is offered any of the items mentioned in a deal that sounds 'too good to be true' then call police."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting crime reference 13170105366.

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