A VICAR has praised the Ainsworth community for their “overwhelming” kindness after a church was hit by thieves.

During an overnight raid, four petrol lawn mowers, two strimmers, a leaf blower and other equipment was stolen from a storehouse belonging to Christ Church Ainsworth, setting the congregation back by an estimated £1,000. However, since the break-in at Sexton’s shed on Sunday, August 25, several pieces of equipment have been donated and a fundraising page has been set up by the organisers of Ainsworth Village Day to recuperate costs. A huge £765 has already been raised.

Rev Dave Thomson said: “I’m overwhelmed by the expressions of support from local people. It clearly shows how much they appreciate the hard work of our churchyard team.”

The equipment stolen was used by a team of volunteers who maintain the church grounds including the graveyard.

To donate, visit www. justgiving.com/ crowdfunding/gardeningequipment.