Tributes left at a Remembrance garden were among items damaged after lead was stolen from the roof of St John’s Church in Elmswell.
Six pieces of ancient masonry from the roof fell onto small crosses and poppies in the church’s garden which had been left in memory of loved ones and those who had fought in the wars.
As a result, the Remembrance service which was held on Saturday had to be moved indoors.
It is believed that the roof was completely stripped of lead at some point on Friday night, with the damage being discovered at nine o’clock on Saturday morning.
Reverend Peter Goodridge said: “It’s really sad that people could do this. A church is obviously a very special place and they have just done so much damage to it.”
The inside of the church suffered a great deal of damage, after water leaked through the roof over night.
Carpets had to be removed from the building and floors and staircases had to be mopped. A television in the church was also badly damaged.
This is one in a series of church lead thefts in Suffolk this year, which resulted in many of the buildings, including St John’s Church, installing alarms. But for some reason the alarm did not activate.
Police and fire services attended the incident and were praised by Reverend Goodridge for their work, after they covered the roof to stop any further damage.
“The thieves will probably get a few hundred pounds for the lead but they’ve caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage that we need to put right,” Reverend Goodridge said.
“It’s an act of desecration and I feel really sad for them that they feel the need to do this.”
Anyone with any information should contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting crime reference number 37/72773/17.