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Silver church cross 'caked' in bleach after failed theft

A silver church cross was covered in bleach during an attempted theft, which was interrupted by a congregation member who had gone inside to meditate.


Reverend Tony Kaunhoven said it happened at All Saints Parish Church in Bakewell, Derbyshire, on Tuesday.


He said the congregation member disturbed the suspect when they went inside at about 05:00 BST.


Mr Kaunhoven said the damage caused to the processional cross felt like a "desecration" of something loved.


He added: "As he [the congregation member] came into the body of the church, he saw this figure running down the aisle and out the west door.


"He certainly disturbed them and probably prevented the theft taking place."


Mr Kaunhoven said the visitor had not realised there was anything untoward about the person he had seen.

Reverend Tony Kaunhoven said the processional cross was "caked" in bleach - Photo: Rev Tony Kaunhoven


The damage was discovered by clergy members when they arrived a few hours later.


Mr Kaunhoven said the cross - used to lead processions, such as the choir or a coffin at a funeral - had been removed from its pole and "caked" in bleach.


Of the chemical substance, Mr Kaunhoven said: "What the police said was that it's used by people that want to hide their fingerprints."


The chemical was also found on the church's safe, which police said had been drilled in an effort to get inside.


Efforts had also been made to break into the church safe - Photo: Rev Tony Kaunhoven


Mr Kaunhoven said he felt disappointed by what had happened.

"It's that sense of violation and also, I suppose in a Christian sense, it feels a little bit like a desecration of something that is loved," he said.

"It's really frustrating and sad but nobody is hurt and that's the most important thing."


The cross is being assessed in the hope of it being restored and returned to the church.

Derbyshire Police said the incident was reported at about 09:50.


The force said it was investigating and appealed for anyone with any information to contact them.


Source: bbc.co.uk

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