UPDATE: Rector’s reaction after thieves steal cross his parish church near Sleaford

Uncaring thieves have stolen this brass cross from Dembleby parish church - have you seen it or them? EMN-180322-121709001
Uncaring thieves have stolen this brass cross from Dembleby parish church - have you seen it or them? EMN-180322-121709001

A priest has described the upset caused to his community by the theft of items including the main cross behind the altar from churches within his group of parishes near Sleaford.

A brass cross and the brass upper part of a reading lectern have been snatched from St Lucia’s Church in Dembleby.

According to Sleaford police, the thieves entered the church between 1pm and 1.30pm on March 13.

The church was one of those within the South Lafford Group of parishes and Rector Rev Nick Munday said a churchwarden had noticed the metal items had gone missing on a visit to the church.

He said: “We sent an email out for wardens to check if anything else had gone missing from the other churches in the group and to put anything away for safe keeping, but they discovered candlesticks and a brass plate had been taken from behind the altar at Scott Willoughby Church too.”

St Andrew’s Church at Scott Willoughby is the smallest church still used in Lincolnshire and Rev Munday said: “Everyone is deeply upset. It is horrible to have a theft but particularly upsetting to have thefts from churches - and that a cross was taken.

Stolen - the brass lectern taken from St Lucia's Church. EMN-180322-121720001

Stolen - the brass lectern taken from St Lucia's Church. EMN-180322-121720001

“All our churches are open for people to go in and worship and pray, as well as for visitors and tourists. We don’t want to lock them up but it is sad when someone takes advantage of that.”

He assumed the items were stolen by metal thieves for their scrap value and just hoped that the pieces would be returned.

He added: “The lectern was terribly hevay, they must have staggered out with it.”

A police spokesman said: “If anyone spots these unusual items up for sale or anywhere else, please contact 101 and quote crime number 18000115588. Any information would be appreciated.”

The brass lectern that has been stolen from St Lucia's Church. EMN-180322-121733001

The brass lectern that has been stolen from St Lucia's Church. EMN-180322-121733001

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org