A community’s decade-long bid to restore a city church has been dealt a blow by vandals who carried out a spate of thefts.
Local parishioners have been fundraising for more than a decade to help restore Rumney Methodist Church on Wentloog Road.
Yet their efforts have been thwarted by thieves who have stolen everything from builders tools and clothing to the church’s microwave and even its pipes and radiators.
Each incident has been reported to the police but despite efforts to seal up the partially demolished church the burglars keep striking.
Glyn Coward, the church’s property and financial steward, said the community was now “extremely fed up” with the situation.
“A lot of people have put a lot of effort into raising money, it’s something we want to have for the whole community and it’s rather annoying when people continually steal things.
“We’re concerned that it’s going to put the renovation costs up and we’ll have to foot the bill.”
Mr Coward said parishioners raised more than £50,000 to demolish half of the church and renovate the rest – a project which has also benefited from a £300,000 grant from the Welsh Assembly Government.
He added: “It’s affected some people really hard because they’ve been waiting a long time to see these renovations completed.”
Elwyn Thomas, who is overseeing the renovations to the church, said the thieves had gained entry by breaking both its windows and doors.
“After the first couple of times we tried to block the driveway with a skip but it didn’t stop them.
“They’ve wiped us clean. We don’t even have hard hats or boots left and we can’t work without safety equipment.”
Inspector Nicky Flower, from Rumney Police Station, said: “Causing criminal damage and stealing from a church is particularly despicable and we would appeal for anyone with information on these two burglaries to contact us.
“While we can include this area as part of our routine patrols, we have also advised the church to install some extra security measures to help keep itself safe from further crime.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Rumney Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.