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Silver items stolen at St Mary at the Elm Church in Ipswich

An Ipswich church how vowed its desire to keep its doors open after thieves stole £1,000 worth of silver items from its vestry.


Four silver items were stolen from St Mary’s at the Elm Church, Newsquest/Submitted

(Image: Newsquest/Submitted)


St Mary's at the Elm Church, in Black Horse Lane, Ipswich, said the items went missing on Monday, May 22. Churchwarden Hugh Pierce said CCTV from the church shows six people entering the church during the afternoon and believes the thefts may have been drug motivated. Mr Pierce said the video showed an incident of drug taking.

The video then shows four more people coming in a bit later, one with a scooter and one with a skateboard.


The vestry which is usually locked was open on this occasion when the items were stolen. Mr Pierce added: "We first noticed that something was missing on Wednesday, but we thought the items were just misplaced.


Churchwarden Hugh Pierce outside St Mary at the Elms in Ipswich, Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)


"On Friday we realised that more things were missing.

"The CCTV clearly shows that somebody went into the vestry where the things were and took a silver cup with a lid called a ciborium, two silver plates called patens and a brass bell." CCTV is located inside the church but does not reach the vestry.



Stolen item from St Mary’s at the Elm Church, Supplied (Image: Supplied)


The churchwarden added: "We pride ourselves on keeping the church open all the time during the day.

"Normally people are respectful, but this situation refers to people who were doing drugs. On CCTV we can see them clearly injecting themselves with drugs.

"It’s very sad that this happened in our church, but it’s clear to my mind that those people were driven by drugs. They’re just desperate for things that they can make money out of."

Mr Pierce added that the items would have "a little value" on the secondhand market if the thieves were planning to sell them.

It will cost the church about £1,000 to replace the items with new ones.

Suffolk Police ask any witnesses to contact them via the website or 101, quoting that crime reference, which is 37/30696/23.


Source: ipswichstar.co.uk

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