PARISHIONERS arriving for evensong at St Peter’s Church, Terwick, were shocked to discover it had been the victim of callous thieves.
Churchwarden Ann Arnold said: “We found hymn books on the floor, and the altar cloth had been moved. At first we thought some animal had been responsible, then we noticed some missing items of furniture. There was a horrible moment when we realised the church had been burgled.”
Two antique carved oak coffin stools which have been in the church for as long as can be remembered are missing together with a small oak table with a small brass plaque in memory of St Peter’s treasurer John Best, given by his widow.
“The thieves had carefully taken the flowers off one of the coffin stools used as a pedestal and left them on the organ. They had removed the hymn books from the table and left these on the floor,” said Ann.
She said a visitor had been in the church at 4pm and nothing was missing, so the robbery must have taken place between 4pm and about 5.15pm when she arrived to prepare for evensong.
“It’s horrible to think someone could go into this sacred place and do something like this, but it is the policy of the churchwarden to keep the church open for visitors.”
In his sermon The Rev Edward Doyle said: “We make ourselves vulnerable, but the church has to be open as part of its purpose.”