Thugs break into Wakefield chapel and steal collection box cash

Wakefield Unitarian chapel's secretary Ali Scott outside at the rear of the chapel where the break in occurred.
Wakefield Unitarian chapel's secretary Ali Scott outside at the rear of the chapel where the break in occurred.

Thieves broke in and ransacked a city centre chapel, stole from collection boxes and damaged the church organ.

The vandals broke in through the window of Westgate Unitarian Chapel, which dates back to 1752 and is the oldest church building of its type in the city.

Ali Scott, secretary of trustees at the chapel, said: “You feel a bit violated really.

“It’s hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t been burgled but the chapel is really a home away from home for the congregation and we have all invested a lot of time here.

“It’s a nasty feeling in your stomach, a peace of mind that has been taken away. I have no idea what they thought they were doing. They left everything scattered across the floor and took everything they thought might be worth selling in a pub.

“They even stole a vacuum cleaner and a CD player but left the PA system. They also took a set of keys so we had to change the locks. I don’t know if they were planning on coming back.

“We are a small congregation but we’ve had lots of messages of support from Bradford to London and even as far away as the United States.”

Mr Scott said the chapel, on Mulberry Road, had fallen victim to “petty crime” before but this was the first time it has been broken in to.

Police are investigating the break-in, which took place between 5pm on Wednesday, April 10 and 11am on Thursday, April 11 after suspects broke into the chapel and stole a number of items.

Anyone who has any information about this offence is asked to contact the Wakefield Central NPT on 101 referencing crime number 13190187219.

Information can also be given online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101Livechat. Anyone who would like to help the chapel can email wakefieldunitarians@ukunitarians.org.uk.