Uncharitable burglars have broken into the St John's Anglican Church Hall and stolen a number of household items and clothing, leaving the hall ransacked.
The church hall is the venue for a mini-market held every Thursday and Friday to raise money for the parish.
The burglary took place in the early hours of a Friday morning when the hall was all set up for that day's market.
The hall is also the meeting place for Elske Centre clients who enjoy activities, music, companionship and a hot meal there.
Among items stolen that were not part of the mini-market were a vacuum cleaner used to clean the hall as well as slow cookers and platters taken from the hall kitchen and used to provide mid-day meals for clients.
St John's vicar Reverend Jo Crosse said it appeared that those responsible were setting up house, judging by the items stolen.
She said piles of used clothing were also taken.
The thieves had emptied the contents of cupboards on to the floor after rifling through them so there was quite a mess left behind, she said.
"They must have been disturbed during the burglary as piles of items had been stacked up waiting to be removed."
The burglary occurred between 6.30am and 7am and was discovered by a staff member.
Dannevirke Police attended and completed a scene examination, however no forensic lines of inquiry were located at the time.
Anyone who has information or saw anything suspicious around June 21 should contact local Police or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Entry was gained through a toilet window over which a wire cage is being installed.
More security lighting is also to be placed around the hall.
Crosse said all the items sold at the mini-market were donated by the community.
"The really sad thing about this is that if the people responsible had told our volunteers that they were struggling, they would have given them what they needed."