Appeal after £20,000 bronze crucifix stolen from Newcastle church
At about 9am on Thursday officers received a report that the cross – that includes a bronzed sculpture of Jesus Christ – had been taken from All Saints Church in Gosforth overnight.
The bronze crucifix, described as highly sentimental, was erected in the church’s garden of remembrance in 1965 where the ashes of many loved ones have been scattered.
It is estimated to be worth as much as £20,000 and police have now launched an investigation.
Neighbourhood Inspector Harninder Bola, of Northumbria Police, has today urged those responsible to return the crucifix.
He said: “This is a highly sentimental piece of the remembrance garden at All Saints and the church and its congregation are understandably devastated.
“The crucifix watched over an area where the ashes of the community’s loved ones have been scattered and these thieves have disturbed that area during their raid.
“Reputable scrap dealers will not accept this cross and we would ask the thieves to do the right thing and return it to the church and its congregation.
“There is no value in keeping the crucifix and the pain and anguish you have caused should not be underestimated.
“Our enquiries will continue and we would ask anyone who has information about this theft to contact us. Any information, however small, could help us locate the crucifix and identify those responsible.”
The Reverend Canon Andrew Shipton, of All Saints Church, said the theft had caused “considerable sadness” among his congregation and the wider community.
He said: "The crucifix was situated in a consecrated area where many ashes are buried.
“It was a great shock to find that the bronze statue of our Lord had gone and a cause of considerable sadness."
Revd Canon Shipton added that the crucifix was sculpted by the internationally acclaimed Frank Roper who undertook work for churches and cathedrals across the country before his death in 2005.
Anyone with information about the theft, that took place overnight between Wednesday, May 12, and Thursday, May 13, is asked to report it online at the Northumbria Police website quoting log 203 13/05/21.
You can also call police on 101 or report information anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.