“WE won’t give in to this and we will not start locking the church.”
That was the defiant message from a stalwart of Hawick Congregational Church this week, after a box containing £70 was stolen.
Police are hunting a thief who entered the building between last Wednesday and this Wednesday, taking petty cash collected from elderly users of their Soupalunch.
But Terry Underhill, a deacon at the Bourtree Place church, stated: “We are very disappointed, but the church is open most of the time for all the groups going in and out, and to change that would go against everything we stand for.” He added: “I even feel a wee bit sorry for someone who has had to stoop so low.”
Inspector Paula Clark commented: “It is unusual for this type of crime to happen in Hawick, in particular from church premises. I would encourage anyone who knows anything about this to do the right thing and come forward. It is totally unacceptable”.
But local businessman Steven Porter has since pledged a £100 donation to the church, telling the Hawick News: “I was shocked and disappointed that something like that could happen and wanted to help.”