The vicar and parishioners of the oldest church in Croydon have made a plea for the urgent return of two pieces of brass work – a cross and a candlestick – which were stolen from St Mary the Blessed Virgin in Addington Village last week.
The missing items are of little intrinsic value, but are cherished as part of the historic and spiritual fabric of the church community.
In a plaintiff message posted on social media at the weekend, they say, “During this week we have sadly had some very precious items taken from our church.
“We keep the church open during the day for private prayer and quiet reflection, and are so sad that this has happened.
“The items are a brass cross and brass candlestick, both quite large, very heavy and difficult to conceal and carry. You can see them in the picture, they are beautiful and our church, which is also beautiful, is not the same without them.
“If you know anything about this and have any information please let us know. If the items are returned, we would certainly be very thankful and would take the matter no further.
“Please share this post and pray with us for their safe return.”
St Mary’s traces its history all the way back to just after the Norman Conquest in the 11th Century, one thousand years ago.
The church was used by various Archbishops of Canterbury during the Victorian era when they were staying at nearby Addington Palace, their summer residence. Five archbishops are buried at the church, as is a former Lord Mayor of London.
It has been a Grade I-listed building since the 1950s.
If you have any information that might help track down the missing items, you can contact the church here.
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I’m so sorry to hear another story like this. Why people feel the need to take essentially valueless items from a church is beyond me. Churches are designed to help the community and attempt to engender good relationships between people. That won’t stop because of some petty theft but it’s very sad that people can be so destructive in a respectful place of worship.