Raiders who burgled a church have been branded the “lowest of the low”.
The community in Boldon Colliery has rallied round after burglars raided the Independent Methodist Church, in North Road, - stealing charity cash raised by children along with much-needed equipment.
A crowdfunding page has been created by local funeral director Glen Millar and cash to make good he losses - and increase security - is pouring in.
Readers were quick to have their say after the break-in was reported on Saturday.
Blayne O’Brien went on our Facebook page to say: “Some people are the lowest of the low.”
Liz Anderson added: “This is awful. You can’t think why anyone would want to take from a church.
“No respect whatsoever.”
Carolyn Scott wrote “It makes you wonder how desperate some people are.
“I hope they get caught and justice is done.”
Dorothy Burton added: “Nothing is sacred anymore.”
The burglary was discovered last Monday morning by a group leader who found the property had been ransacked, property from a number of groups who use the centre had been taken and knives from the kitchen were dumped on the floor.
But people in Boldon Colliery have dug deep to help the church - known locally as The Chapel - continue its role in the community.
Iris Ogilvie, church treasurer, said she had been “overwhelmed’ by the support from people in Boldon Colliery.
She said: “They have been into everything. They were obviously looking for money.
“They have taken a laptop, a TV and dragged our safe out, causing damage to the floor. There is nothing in it but books which are valuable to us. “The children have a big tub they had been saving their pennies in. It was to raise money for children in Syria.
“They have destroyed that and taken the money.
“When we found out what the community were doing for us we were so overwhelmed. The People’s Angels have donated £500 and people have stopped me in the street to hand over cash.”
Mr Miller said: “People in the area have really taken this personally. It is such a big part of their community.
Police say the break-in happened between 7.45pm on Sunday and 7.15am on Monday.
To make a donation go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/glen-miller
Anyone with informtion to the break-in is asked to contact police on 101 quoting 157 160117 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.