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Brass eagle lectern stolen from church in Pidley, Cambridgeshire

A church warden said he believed the theft of a valuable brass eagle lectern was a "targeted" attack.


Church warden Simon Thompson next to the empty concrete plinth that held the eagle lectern in the village church near Huntingdon. Photo: DAVID WEBSTER/BBC


A church warden said he believed the theft of a valuable brass eagle lectern was a "targeted" attack.


The 100kg (15.7st) lectern, which stands more than 5ft (1.5m) tall, was taken from All Saints' Church in Pidley in Cambridgeshire on Friday.


Warden Simon Thompson said other brass items left in the church suggested it was not "an opportunist theft".


"We always have hope, but realistically the chances of getting it back are fairly slim," he said.


Mr Thompson told the BBC the last time the lectern was "positively seen" was at lunchtime on Friday.


The brass eagle and stem had been removed from a concrete plinth, and a bible gifted to the church from a local family had been "carefully taken off the lectern and placed on the side".


The lectern - which is "microdotted" and inscribed - was bought by the village in 1921, with the £42 cost paid for by subscription and the sale of work.



A message on the Pidley village Facebook page said: "Let's hope it is not melted down for scrap"


It would be worth several thousand pounds today, Mr Thompson said.


"If it had been an opportunist theft we sincerely believe they would have taken the rest of the brass as well, which could be easily sold to a scrap merchant," he said.


"The lectern itself is of such importance and such a rarity."


He said auction houses and scrap metal merchants had been informed of the theft in case it was offered for sale.


"Our eagle has always been there - it is a part of the church," Mr Thompson added.


A message on the Pidley village Facebook page appealed for anyone with CCTV footage on the day or beforehand to get in touch, as they hoped it might have caught thieves "casing the joint".


Cambridgeshire Police said: "We have received a report of a brass lectern in the shape of an eagle, and a cast iron safe, being stolen from All Saints Church in Pidley, between 10:00 on 23 June and 18:00 the following day.


"An investigation has been launched."


Source: bbc.co.uk


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