Thieves have stolen up to 6,000 lights from a church Christmas tree in Burgess Hill.

The lights were taken at some point during the week commencing November 12 from St John’s Church.

The Vicar, Father Kevin O’Brien, said each year they have added to their light collection with donations from local businesses and the church.

He said all the lights were LED, weatherproof and will cost more than £1,000 to replace.

Father O’Brien, who was speaking to More Radio, said:

“It’s a large sum of money to find with only a few weeks to go because our service is on 12  December in the evening, so we’ve got to see what we can do between then and now.

“It also means we’ll have to hire a cherry picker to get the lights back up there as it’s a very tall tree, some 40 feet or more.”

According to Father O’Brien, around 180 people attended the church’s tree lighting service in 2017.

The service is now under threat and St John’s is concerned it may not be possible to have the town Christmas tree illuminated this year.

A crowdfunding page has now been set up so more lights can be afforded in time for the ceremony.

Burgess Hill Town Council has already donated £250 towards replacing the lights, according to the Vicar.

Father O’Brien added:

“We are absolutely determined that we are not going to have a dark Christmas.

“Whatever happens, we are going to try to make sure we have a bright and lit Christmas again this year.”

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