A church with a tower dating back to the 15th century in West Molesey has had historic lead tiles ripped from its roof by thieves.

Neighbours woke up to hear loud bangs at about 4.30am on Sunday, April 2 after robbers made their way up scaffolding next to the Grade II listed St Peter's Church in Walton Road to snatch the tiles.

Oliver Tims, a worshipper at the church and the son of former Surrey Comet features editor June Sampson, said he had gone to inspect the church after the theft, and saw that stones from the 15th century tower had been "pushed off the parapet".

"It's a big blow. It makes one think very un-Christian things.

"The lead work was so beautifully done, it was ecquisite. Apart from the cost and the vandalism, it's the ruination of the roof.

"They've pushed the stones off the top of the battlements. I think the stones have been pushed over in pure spite. The handrail below has been smashed too."

Surrey Comet:

A Surrey Police spokeswoman said officers were checking nearby CCTV cameras in the area after the lead sheeting was stolen.

Anyone with information should call Surrey Police on 101, quoting crime reference number 45170033650.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.