Team heartbroken after up to 100 chocolate eggs and a TV stolen from Sunderland’s Bethany City Church after break-in just before Easter Sunday
A kindhearted team have been left devastated after Easter eggs set to be donated to vulnerable children were stolen from a church on Holy Saturday, with windows damaged during the break-in.
Leaders at Bethany City Church have spoken of their heartbreak after they found out that up to 100 chocolate eggs, which were going to be donated to vulnerable children in the city had been stolen in a break-in early on Saturday morning (April 3).
Daniel Alcock, 25, who is one of the pastors at the church, has said CCTV footage from the incident shows that three trays, containing up 100 Easter eggs, were taken first, before the group returned to steal a TV.
Windows were smashed at the church, leaving the site covered in shards of glass.
Mr Alcock said: “It was really sad. We only just got donated 220 Easter eggs on Tuesday earlier this week.
"Going into the Easter holiday weekend, this is a time when we fill up the children’s parcels with chocolate treats.
"An Easter egg means nothing in the grand scheme of things as an adult, but for a child on the Easter holidays, it’s a lot.
"We can’t get our heads around it."
Bethany City Church runs a soup kitchen every Friday and is one of Sunderland’s biggest food bank providers. Mr Alcock said it handled more than 50% of food parcels for the city.
The pastor said this is the first break-in to happen in the six years they have occupied the building on Burdon Road.
He said: "It’s heartbreaking. Obviously, we are a church, it’s a religious building and a spiritual home to many in that sense.
"But also, we do so much work for the community there. Be it the soup kitchen, be it the food bank, be it work with asylum seekers or refugees, be it general church stuff. To see such a public community centre just vandalised is very sad.”
Northumbria Police have confirmed they were called to reports of suspicious activity in the Mowbray Road area in Sunderland at 06.41 am on Saturday morning (April 3).
Officers attended the scene and enquires are ongoing.