There was disappointment after thieves made off with a charity collection box from a Leighton Buzzard church shortly before Christmas.
The plinth containing collections at All Saints Church was stolen on Friday, December 16 just as the evening choir were practicing.
Outside, church members found the plinth smashed open in the church yard.
A child’s scooter – believed to have been used to wheel the plinth out – was also stolen and later found dumped in the river.
Church warden John Wallace told the LBO: “I think it was possibly two people that were involved.
“One door was open, they came in that way and so that was it.
“We have tightenened up security since then.”
Police were called and advice was given about security measures in the future.
Mr Wallace said: “Fortunately there was probably little money in the plinth, perhaps about £10 and no more than £20. It is a shame people are reduced to this.
“We are far more security conscious but of course people want to come into the church, so it is really about awareness.”
In spite of the unpleasant incident, Mr Wallace said that Christmas at All Saints Church was a great success, with over 700 people crammed into the pews for a stunning ‘Christmas By Candles’ service.