BURGLARS broke into a church through a roof and stole a safe.

Intruders got into Burnley Spiritualist Church, which has been present in the town for more than 90 years, and stole a safe that contained around £700, papers and keys on Tuesday night. 

The thieves broke in through the roof after climbing onto a piece of scaffolding they had leant against the church building, a church spokesman said.

It is thought the thieves, who left undetected after not tripping the burglar alarm, took the safe back out through the roof and church ceiling.

Members of the Stanley Street church discovered the break-in at around 6.30pm on Tuesday.

The building for the church has been used by the congregation for at least 20 years after their former Hammerton Street church was demolished in the 1990s.

Around 30 members visited the church for Tuesday’s service and were ‘heartbroken’ to find out the safe had been stolen from the church, which is funded by money donated from members. 

Gail Barrett, president of the church, said she was upset when she discovered the safe was stolen as the money would primarily have been used for paying bills, such as heating and insurance. 

She said: “I’m frustrated and angry. Our church is like Fort Knox with security measures.

“We have so many locks and doors and boarded-up windows. 

“The thieves would have to be somebody who has been in the church and would know it well.”

Church bosses have now made a public appeal on Facebook asking people to contact them if they know anything about the burglary.

In the post, a spokesman said: “We rely on donations and all the staff in the church including the committee members work voluntary to help people within the local community. 

“Please can anyone let us know if they hear anything about this burglary within the community of Burnley or near areas. 

“We are really heartbroken to think that anyone could go to this length and take money from such good people who only care about the needs of others.”

A police spokesman said: “We were called to reports of a church break-in at 6.45pm on Tuesday.

“The safe, which contains money, has been taken and they have gone in via the roof.

“No arrests have been made and an investigation is under way.”

If anyone has seen anything or knows anything contact the police on 101 referencing log number LC-2018-0612-1249 or the church via https://www.facebook.com/BurnleySpiritualistChurch/