Thieves who broke into a church have been forgiven by the vicar and his congregation.
Following the theft at Aylesbury’s parish church, St Mary’s, The Reverend Doug Zimmerman said: “This gives us new opportunities to appreciate what Jesus taught us, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.
“We are not defeated or discouraged.
“They violated the place but not the gospel. We prayed for them on Sunday.”
Rev Zimmerman discovered the break in when he entered the church on Saturday morning and found things out of place.
The refectory door had been forced open and a small amount of cash, alter wine, coffee beans, microphones and hearing assistance units were stolen.
Computers and monitors had been wrapped in tableclothes, but were left in bundles in the office, which had also been broken into.
Rev Zimmerman said: “I hesitate to get into the mind of what they were thinking, but it looks like they reconsidered what they could get away with.
“ They were probably looking to get things they could quickly translate to cash.”
Rev Zimmerman said he had been through a range of emotions including disbelief, disgust and pity.
No one was hurt in the break in , and nothing was defaced in the church, but the refectory and office doors were damaged.
Church warden Mike Sharp said the church was broken into two years ago, but not very much was taken.
Most items of value are well secured and locked away when not in use.
Following the latest break in Rev Zimmerman said changes would be made to the security of the church.
He said: “We will have CCTV shortly, additional prayer, reinforced doors and some other unspecified security measures.”
Rev Zimmerman said: “We have said prayers for the restoration of things profaned, that is the church.
“There were people that came in here will ill intention.
“We asked the Lord to cleanse the place and our hearts.
“The congregation has not fallen into anger, resentment or fear.”
Thames Valley Police has confirmed that a 33-year-old man was arrested yesterday (Tuesday)in connection with the burglary.
They are still appealing for witnesses and ask anyone with any information about the break in to call them on the non emergency telephone number 101.