Burglars ransacked a church and stole items from a safe worth around £10,000.
Crooks raided New Jerusalem Church taking communion silver and left decades worth of documents scattered throughout the building.
Police are appealing for information following the burglary on Hargreaves Street in the early hours of Monday, June 10.
May Liversedge, a member of the church committee, described the raid as ‘upsetting’.
The 91-year-old ex-office worker, of Plantation Street, said: “We have two safes and they have taken one which contained the communion silver.
“It’s upsetting and terrible what they did to the documents. There are 26 years of births, marriages and deaths which have just been thrown.
“When they start robbing churches, people are thinking a bit low. But like anything else, if they can turn it into money they will steal things.
“How they knew where the safes were I don’t know. The silver was the most expensive thing we have.”
Grandmother-of-one May, who has been associated with the church for most of her life, before it became a much smaller premises 26 years ago, added: “They got in through one of the toilet windows. It’s a real mess.
“And now we have had to change the lock on the church door. It’s the second time in three years that we’ve had a break-in.
“We will get the church back on track. The documents need to be sorted and put in a safe a place as possible.
“Evidently the documents and other things are not safe in the safe.
“We have around 50 members here, not as many as we used to, but they are all upset about what’s happened.”
Police said the theft happened between 12.15am and 9.15am on Monday, June 10.
A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: “The burglars opened a small window, and went into the study and forced open a safe and discarded some of the contents and stole items worth around £10,000.
“We are investigating. Anyone with information can contact 101.”