A district councillor has called for action to be taken over a decaying and vandalised church after urban explorers exposed the shocking state of the 166-year-old building.

Photographs show smashed pews and cupboards, plaster ripped from walls and evidence of fires being lit inside the grade II-listed St Paul’s Church, in Denholme Gate.

Historic memorial plaques – including one dating back 130 years commemorating the death of a soldier – have also been left exposed, and vandals have “run amok” in the crumbling building.

Councillor Mike Ellis said: “It is shocking. This is a listed building and we have to look at the health and safety risk of anyone going in there. I think the Council has a responsibility to take action.”

The damage was highlighted by an anonymous photographer who posted the pictures on Facebook.

They show smashed-up furniture, a hole in the blue arched ceiling and no windows left. The photographer said: “It could end up like many old buildings in Bradford – getting burned down.”

Alison Bogle, a spokesman for Bradford Diocese, said the church had been sold to a developer in 1999. Plan-ning permission for it to be turned into a house was granted five years ago, but work has yet to begin.