A HEARTLESS thief has stolen sound equipment worth more than £500 from a Trowbridge church only days before it was due to be used for a wedding.

The thief – or thieves – struck while restoration work was taking place on the front doors of St John's Church at Upper Studley.

Team vicar, Reverend Alastair Wood, said the theft was a “tragic” loss and had taken place in the context of an ‘open doors’ policy for the local community.

He said: “We regret to inform that during the restoration work on the front doors of Church, someone has taken key components of our amplification equipment.

“We hope to be able to provide some sound assistance by next weekend if at all possible.”

A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: “It appears that between 10am on Friday (08/07) and Sunday (10/07) St John the Baptist Church in Trowbridge has been broken into.

“Some PA equipment has been stolen as well as a CD player and a mixer desk.”

Rev Wood said that, as well, the thief took lots of associated leads and a new converter lead for an iplayer that was intended to be used for a wedding on Friday.

He said: “Our church has been advertised as being open for the community.

“It’s a place where anyone can come and use it for a bit of peace and quiet, particularly as we have got some Ukrainians coming.

“Yesterday, we opened for the Sunday services and found somebody has removed half of our PA equipment. They have stolen it.

“As a parish church we are trying to redefine how we are to serve the community and it is hard to do that when half of our equipment is nicked.

“People who are hard of hearing rely on the amplification for the hearing system.”

Rev Wood described the theft as a “tragic” loss and added: “We think it is very sad when the person concerned has got no consideration for anybody else.

“I am sure there will be a reward in heaven for those who turn away from their wicked works.”

But Rev Wood says he has already received an offer of help to replace the stolen sound equipment.

He added: “We will have to talk to the insurance company and to the Parish Church Council about what further action to take.”

Anyone who can help, should call 101 quoting log 54220072094. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.