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A Russian Orthodox church was ransacked by burglars who stole fundraising cash for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.
St Nicholas Orthodox Church, in Oxford, was targeted by thieves during the early hours of Saturday morning and suffered a ‘great deal of damage’, according to Archpriest Stephen Platt.
The thieves forced their way into a church safe and stole money which the congregation had raised for Ukrainian refugees.
Thames Valley Police said they are investigating the incident and asked witnesses to get in contact.
St Nicholas Orthodox Church, in Oxford, was targeted by thieves during the early hours of Saturday morning
The thieves broke into a safe and stole money which the congregation had raised for Ukrainian refugees
Writing on Facebook, Father Stephen said: ‘A great deal of damage was done.
‘The holy altar was ransacked, and various objects were stolen, including holy relics, crosses and altar vessels.
‘Fortunately, although the holy table was interfered with, the antimension and the tabernacle containing the Holy Gifts were left undisturbed.
‘The church safe and money boxes were forced open with violence, and the proceeds of a collection to support refugees from Ukraine was stolen. The church bookstall was burgled and stock taken.
‘The police have been informed and are making investigations. Please keep our church and our parish in your prayers.’
Archpriest Stephen Platt said the church safe and money boxes were forced open ‘with violence’
Father Stephen said ‘a great deal of damage’ was caused during the incident on Saturday morning. Police are investigating
Following the break-in, a fundraiser was launched for the church on Facebook and many people have stepped in to help.
It has so far raised more than £7,000 from almost 200 donations.
A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: ‘No arrests have yet been made. Anyone with any information relating to this should call 101.’
Source: Daily Mail