Hunt for would-be thieves who targeted Cornish church

A church in Cornwall has released CCTV images of an attempt to break open a collection box to try and track down a pair of would-be thieves.

A man and woman attempted to break into the box embedded in a wall at St Gothians - a 13th Century in Gwithian Church near Hayle - last Thursday.

The church is open from dawn to dusk every day.

Church officials say they were proud that the church was kept open and they did not intend to change that.

'Hurt and angry'

The pair tried to open the box when they visited the church last Thursday at about 1430 BST.

The church's CCTV, which was installed after previous burglaries, showed the man taking a tool out of his rucksack and attacking the box's metal door.

After almost 10 minutes, he gave up, wiped the box with his sleeve and the couple walked out.

There was just £8.80 in the box. Church officials said it would cost 10 times that to repair.

Cannon Martyn Trembartha from the Godrevvy ministry team said the incident had shocked the congregation.

He said: "Well, the church stands for forgiveness, so we believe that God will forgive if they repent, and we too would want to forgive them if they say that they're sorry."

"But, at the same time, it doesn't stop us from feeling hurt and angry and determined to make sure that it doesn't happen again to ensure the church is secure and open."

Police said they had been informed of the incident and were investigating.

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