A vicar in Cumbria is appealing for thieves to examine their consciences after all the silverware from his church was stolen.
The burglary at St John's Church in Keswick was discovered on Monday morning when a worker arrived to open the building. They found the vestry door had been forced and among the items taken were two chalices used for Holy Communion. Three other smaller chalices had also been taken, along with £1200 in cash.
Rev Charles Hope said :
“"It's awful but we have had help from other churches.
"This time, the largest church is supported by the smallest church in the diocese - and we are using the silver which hasn't been used for years".
Rev Hope urged those responsible to “please examine your conscience and return the silver because it has a practically minimal scrap value. Historic artefacts are hard to sell without problems, and it relates to the Keswick Arts and Crafts Movement, part of the history of Keswick."
The diocese of Carlisle has now issued a warning for churches to be extra vigilant and take stock of all inventory and silverware.
Archdeacon, Ven Richard Pratt said :
"Any burglary or theft leaves a nasty taste in people's mouths. People ought to be able to feel safe in their homes but to go for a church is really horrible."
Cumbria Police is investigating the theft and is urging anyone with information to contact the force.