THIEVES smashed their way into Battle Baptist Church overnight on Sunday following a service.
They gained entry to the Mount Street building after smashing a window.
The raiders targeted a heavy iron Victorian fire-proof safe which they attempted to drag out of a room but failed to open.
Ironically the safe contained nothing more than marriage certificates and church records.
They ransacked an office and left with around just £10 in petty cash and a music mixer desk, ignoring a large flat-screen plasma television.
A spokesperson from the church said: “It is no surprise they were unable to move the safe as we had a job getting it into the building in the first place and had to hoist it on scaffold poles.
“They probably chose their time thinking there may be money around following services on the Sunday. We do not keep large amounts of money or valuables at the church.
“We think there must have been at least three to move the safe as far as they did. They were lucky not to be caught in the act as there were people returning to the church late that night after playing in a football match in Northampton.
“The good thing is that there were decorations and a cake set out in the church for a wedding on the Tuesday but luckily these were left undisturbed.”
John Southam, from the church, said: “It was all set up for the wedding of the Pastor’s daughter on Tuesday. Five hours of hard work decorating could have been smashed in a minute but they left it alone.
“We were in there having to clean up at 7am on Monday morning. The office was a mess but it could have been a lot worse. The damage was minimal.”
The police were really helpful and turned out on bank holiday Monday to carry out forensic tests.
“We never keep cash on the premises.”
Police say the break-in took place some time between 8pm on Sunday May 26 and 6.30am on Monday May 27.
Any witness or anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting serial 0228 of 27/5. Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
A Church at London Road, Hurst Green was also targeted recently and had its windows smashed overnight on May 22.