Some of a church’s most holy items have been stolen in a break-in.
Burglars smashed their way into Holy Cross Church, in Fenham, Newcastle, overnight on Wednesday.
Once inside, the unholy thieves helped themselves to silver jugs, chalices and plates, worth around £7,000.
Police are still hunting the burglars and attempting to recover the stolen property.
And yesterday, the vicar, Reverend Gavin Wort, spoke of his sadness at hearing his church had been targeted.
He said: “The items that have been stolen are the most sacred, most holy items in the church. I’m just saddened that someone has targeted the church.”
The thieves got into the building by breaking a window, sometime between 6pm on Wednesday and 8.30am on Thursday.
Reverend Wort was away on holiday at the time.
The burglary was discovered by a church warden, who called police.
“They are all items that are used in the eucharist,” Reverend Wort explained.
“They include a cup that we used for the wine, and the plate for the bread, and other items that are used on a Sunday morning.
“They have all been at the church for a very long time, possibly since it was consecrated in 1936.
“I’m sure the congregation will be saddened too and it is something we will be talking about on Sunday.”
Police are now appealing for witnesses, and asking the public to be on the lookout for the rare stolen property.
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “Police are appealing for witnesses after thousands of pounds worth of property was stolen from a Newcastle church.
“It happened overnight between 6pm on Wednesday and 8.30am on Thursday, at Holy Cross Church at Whittington Grove, in Fenham.
“A window was smashed and the church broken into, and property worth around £7,000 in silver jugs, chalices and plates was stolen from inside. Police are appealing for any witnesses to the break-in or anyone with information about the whereabouts of the stolen property to contact them.”
If you have any information, call Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 247 29/05/14, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.