Annan Old Parish in south west Scotland displayed the nativity for the first time this year. They put it up as lots of other local churches have stopped displaying the Christmas scene. However the main character, baby Jesus, and his manger have been stolen.
Police Scotland described it as "crime that will shock the town".
One of the members of the church discovered that the baby Jesus and manger was missing at lunchtime on Thursday. Rev David Whiteman, minister at Annan Old Parish confirmed that the baby Jesus had been there on Thursday morning but was gone by the afternoon.
Rev Whiteman told Premier: "I'm really disappointed, someone said 'you must be angry', but I'm not. I'm just disappointed that someone would steal a manger and Jesus out of a nativity scene"
"It's not really of any value. I can't see what they would want to do with it. The only conclusion I can come to is that someone has taken it for a prank, but I can't understand why they would want to do that".
To steal the manger with the baby Jesus was by no means an easy task.
Rev Whiteman said: "It's all wired up to the electrics; they've had to take the electrics out because it was all bolted down - it wasn't easy to take it. I can't understand why someone would go to so much effort."
No one was at the church over lunch time, or was watching the nativity that is in the grounds by the churches main gate.
Rev Whiteman assured Premier that this wasn't the end of the story: "We're not going to give up. We always have hope! We do hope it's going to get returned!"
Rev Whiteman said: "We will simply get another crib and another baby... [Jesus] will definitely be there for Christmas"
In a statement, Police Scotland said: "It seems that nothing is safe from theft or vandalism nowadays.
"The nativity scene at the Old Parish Church in Annan has drawn many admiring remarks and has been a talking point in the town this year."
"Unfortunately, someone has stolen the baby Jesus from the nativity scene sometime on Thursday 13th December."
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