AN intruder broke into a parish church and made himself a cup of tea before fleeing empty-handed.

Police believe a man entered St Michael’s in Lyme Regis just after it was opened in the morning, rifled through drawers and tried to open the safe.

He made himself at home in the vestry where he made a cup of tea, leaving an empty mug as evidence.

Police believe a man caught on CCTV going into the church at 9.07am last Tuesday and leaving at 10.07am is responsible.

Lyme Regis neighbourhood beat manager PC Kirsti Ball said: “An unknown offender has entered the church and searched around various parts of the church, however nothing has been taken. “The offender has then entered the vestry area where he has opened several drawers and attempted to open the safe. “He then made himself a cup of tea before leaving.

“We believe the offender is male, wearing reddish brown trousers and coat, brown shoes, wearing a hat and carrying a rucksack and a green plastic carrier bag.”

Churchwarden Margaret McConkey, pictured, said CCTV installed following the smashing of a stained glass window in 2008 has proved its worth.

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She said: “There is a notice to say we have CCTV as a kind of warning.

“We care about the church and obviously we don’t want any kind of vandalism or anything taken that might be of interest to anybody.

“We are careful about what we lock away.

Mrs McConkey noticed items had been moved around when she went into the church on Tuesday morning to prepare for a service.

She said: “We discovered an intruder had been in and scattered some things around, obviously searching for something. We like to have the church open for people to come and have quiet moments so it is open from 9am to 4pm at this time of year and later in the summer, but they can’t access anything of value.”

Witnesses and anyone with information are asked to contact Dorset Police on 101.