A CHURCH was forced to cancel its Sunday service after thieves made off with its oil supply.

A total of 500 litres of heating oil was taken from an oil tank outside St Mary The Virgin, Cilcain, leaving the building without heat.

More than 20 regular worshippers were affected.

For the Rev Adrian Copping, Rector of Cilcain, it was the second time in a month he had oil allegedly stolen from a church.

He is also responsible for Gwernaffield Parish Church, which suffered the theft of a similar quantity of oil earlier this month.

Mr Copping said: “This is obviously going to cost the church money.

“We are insured but have excesses to pay.

“It is upsetting and it has happened at the worst time because it is so cold.

“We hope things will be back to normal for our midweek service on Wednesday.”

Mr Copping added that the church would be adopting new measures to ensure such thefts do not happen again. Sgt John Williams, of North Wales Police, said: “We received a call at 6.45pm on Friday, November 27 reporting the theft.

“We would urge anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area to contact us.

“It is likely those behind this were present at the scene for some time and are likely to have required a suitable vehicle to accommodate the oil, such as a flat-back type.”

Anyone with information on this incident should contact police on 101 or 0845 6071002.