ORGANISERS of the Chelsea Festival are reeling after £3,000 worth of takings and equipment was stolen from their church office.
Burglars struck the festival office in the crypt of St Luke's Church, Sydney Street, on Wednesday night.
After wrenching the fire door from its hinges, they made off with takings and a computer used by the festival committee - who single-handedly revived the community event after it was axed earlier this year due to the credit crunch.
An upset festival organiser Stewart Collins told the News: "This is a terrible blow and very, very upsetting. You get the feeling people must have been watching.
"Any kind of burglar is a real villain but it is just so terribly cruel when we are trying to save a festival in its first year. It's also pretty awful that a church can be broken into."
Kensington and Chelsea Police are now investigating the crime and
have forensically scoured the scene for clues.
Mr Collins confirmed that despite the huge loss, the rest of the events in Chelsea can continue this year. But without the funds, the future of the celebration of Chelsea life may be threatened.
Mr Collins said: "This is very
damaging. We need all the support we can get. This is a loss we will need to make up."
If you have any information about the crime or saw anything suspicious after 6.30pm last Wednesday to Thursday morning, please contact Kensington and Chelsea police. ..SUPL: