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Church to remain open despite theft of silver communion set

A church near Upton will remain open despite the theft of a silver communion set.

The Church of the Good Shepherd in Hanley Castle is staying open despite the theft (Image: Street View)

The 150-year-old silver set, which contained a chalice, wine jug and plate, was stolen from The Church of the Good Shepherd in Hook.

It had been presented to the church when it opened in 1870.

The theft took place sometime between August 2 and September 3 when the church was open for use.

But despite the incident, church officials are determined to keep the building open for anyone who wants to sit inside.

They say there was no sign of breaking and entering - it appears someone had found a hidden key to the vestry and took the silver from a cupboard.

The theft was only discovered when setting up for a service.

Churchwarden Kate Chester-Lamb said: “This is our first major theft for as long as I can remember and it’s very sad.

“However, we will continue to keep the church open as so many people pop into the building to sit in quiet prayer.

“We are looking at options to replace the communion set and are installing a key safe to ensure any items of value are stored more securely.”

The Archdeacon of Worcester, Robert Jones, said: “These events are thankfully few and far between, but always upsetting for the local congregation and churchwardens.

“It is heartening to see how this church is determined to keep its doors open, so that people can come in and pray.

“Our churches stand for the welcoming love of God for all, and, in this case, for those we love and those we sometimes find it hard to love.”

Police are investigating the theft.

PC Kevin Johns said: “Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to contact us online, quoting incident number 00241_I_03092023.

“If you aren’t comfortable contacting us directly, you can pass on information anonymously to the independent charity, Crimestoppers, by calling 0800 555 111 or visiting their website.”


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