Vandals break in to Leeds church and cause extensive damage

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PARISHIONERS have been left heartbroken after vandals broke into a Leeds church, causing extensive damage.

The vandals struck at St Wilfrid’s Roman Catholic Church in Whincover Bank, Lower Wortley, on Wednesday evening.

Father Benny Thomas assesses the damage to St Wilfrids Church.

Father Benny Thomas assesses the damage to St Wilfrids Church.

Parish priest, Father Benny Thomas, said the church community had been left very upset by the crime.

“They destroyed the gate of the church and also the main door of the church,” he said.

He said there was also extensive damage to the porch and a glass door had been smashed.

Fr Thomas said it was not the first time the church grounds had been vandalised.

A car in the car park had its windows smashed last month and his own residence nearby had also recently been targeted, he said.

“I don’t know why this is happening, I have no idea,” he said.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said the vandals had struck between 7pm and 8.30pm on Wednesday evening, breaking the wrought iron gates to get into the grounds.

They broke through the church’s front wooden doors, smashed glass doors and took chairs from inside the church, abandoning them outside, the spokesman said.

He said while no property had been stolen, the break-in was still being treated as a burglary and officers were in the process of gathering CCTV footage from the area.

He said: “If anybody witnessed anything suspicious in that area during these times, we would ask them to contact us via 101, quoting the reference 13180559926.”

Witnesses can also call Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.