CHURCH group members have been left ‘disheartened’ after their roof was vandalised only weeks after it was replaced.

Pastor Thomas Oldbury said members had collected £1,200 to fix the roof at Rishton Baptist Christian Fellowship in Commercial Street.

They then had to find a further £1,000 to fix the damage caused by the vandals.

The incident is believed to have happened on Tuesday last week when someone or a group climbed up a drain-pipe on to the roof.

Pastor Oldbury, 80, said: “A few weeks ago we spent over £1,000 and had the church roof repaired. Then someone has been on the roof and smashed all the tiles that had to be replaced costing us another £1,000 “We are a small fellowship and when not in lockdown we run children’s meetings, a toddler group and youth meetings and before Covid we even hosted a food bank.”

Pastor Oldbury runs the church alongside his wife and son-in-law.

He said only 16 people had been attending during restrictions and collecting the money was tough for a small group such as theirs.

He said: “During lockdown it has been difficult for us and raising money from a small group has not been easy.

“We never ask for money and people give it willingly and it is very kind of them.

“I just wanted to let those vandals know the damage they had done and the amount of effort that goes into fixing it. We just want the vandalism to stop.

“It was very good of the roofer to drop another job on Saturday morning and come to fix ours. Despite the heavy rain, he managed to fix it all up by Saturday.”

Pastor Oldbury said they had reported the incident to the police but have not heard anything back as yet.