Callous thieves raid church

Police appeal
Police appeal

A number of rare items have been stolen from a church.

Merseyside Police are appealing for information after seven silver chalices, a gold chalice, a gold-coloured dome-shaped tabernacle and a quantity of cash was taken from St Mary’s & St John’s Catholic Church in Newton-le-Willows.

The offenders smashed a ground floor window to gain entry to the church, on Crow Lane East, between 8pm on August 10 and 6.30am on August 11.

Forensic examinations were carried out and an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident is still ongoing.

Detective Constable Roy Waller said: “This is the first time the church has been the victim of a burglary in 46 years and the community is understandably shocked and saddened that it has been targeted in this way.

“These items are clearly of great importance to the church and are much-valued by parishioners within the local community.

“The items are rare and distinctive and would be almost impossible to replace. I’d like to appeal to the consciences of the offenders and ask them to consider the impact this will have not just on the church but the wider community too.

“I would ask for them to do the right thing and return the stolen items in any way possible.

“We would also appeal to anyone who was in the Crow Lane East area on 10 and 11 August to cast their mind back to that night between 8pm and 6.30am and contact us if they remember anything suspicious. I’d also ask any members of the public to look out just in case they are, or have been, offered any these items for sale on the street, in pawnbrokers or have seen them for sale on the internet.”

Anyone who has any information is asked to call St Helens CID 0151 777 6013 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.