£2,000 of cable stolen from fire damaged St Michael’s Church, Ipswich - now owned by JIMAS

JIMAS open day - before the thefts

JIMAS open day - before the thefts

Ipswich charity Jimas has insisted that work will continue on arson-hit St Michael’s Church after vandals stole approximately £2,000 of cabling, and caused minor damage last weekend.

The empty building on Bond Street, which is currently under renovation, was targeted last weekend, with cabling and a small amount of lead stolen from the church roof sometime between 5pm on Friday, October 31 and 7am on Monday, November 3, as well as minor damage caused to the roof itself.

Mohammed Manwar Ali, chief executive of Jimas which owns the church, said: “I don’t know the exact extent of the damage, but there was some bits of the roof and ceiling that had been broken.

“It sets our work back by one week and it was fully insured by the building site.

“However, what I would ask is whether it was out of malice or just a theft, because the church was a victim of an arson attack a few years ago?” The arson attack, which took place in March 2011, left the church in a state of disrepair, and stalled plans for renovation after it was revealed the building had not been insured.

The church is currently boarded up and is undergoing renovations to be turned into a parish hall and community centre. It is expected to be finished by January next year.

Mr Ali added: “The whole community is welcome to make it our own place, and we look forward to opening it when it is finished.”