Updated at 4pm, Saturday, December 3:
Churchwarden Dee Johnson has issued the following statement:
“On behalf of Holy Cross, that small theft in minute compared to the wonderful generosity of Carol from Eastbourne who donated £100 to make up for our loss and the fantastic support from our local community we have received in order to run this festival.
“One sad person is nothing compared to the thousands if fabulous people who have visited our church this weekend.
“I speak as Churchwarden of Holy Cross. We have an amazing church.”
Our original story
A substantial sum of money was stolen from Holy Cross Church Christmas Tree Festival last night.
The Uckfield parish church said this morning on Facebook: “
“It’s been an lovely Festival so far.
“There was a wonderful atmosphere both inside the church and out.
“Please remember that this is a free, community event that Holy Cross work extremely hard to put on for the people of Uckfield each year, however any donations are gratefully received and very much appreciated.
“We sadly had a theft last night, during the festival, which is truly upsetting. Any funds that we receive from this event are vital to the running of Uckfield’s Church and every penny really does count.
“Thank you to all who have come and supported this wonderful community event on day one.
“It was extremely busy last night but we hope you were still able to enjoy the beautiful display of trees in the Church! Please do come back if you would like another look round, it’s usually less busy over the lunch period.
Angela Noel, verger, said also on Facebook: “We must admit it put a damper on us yesterday (December 2) but today is another day and we will be OK.
“It’s all for charity and maybe the people who stole it needed it more than the Children’s Society, the children’s hospice and Holy Cross.”