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The Diocese has had reports recently of thieves targeting rural churches around the country, including at least two in our Diocese and others in Dioceses elsewhere.

They break into the vestry, open the safe and steal the church silverware. They are quick, efficient – only targeting silverware – and are believed to be an organised gang. 

Police have been informed and are appealing for information via the media including this BBC story and this story in the Lancashire Post.

If your church is in a rural location, please be extra vigilant and make your neighbours aware as they can be your eyes and ears locally. 

A message has been sent directly from the diocesan offices to parishes to warn them to be on their guard.

If you see anything or anyone suspicious at your churches, DO NOT engage the people involved but rather call the police immediately. When you call the police make sure you say it is ‘a heritage crime’.  

Further guidance on church security can be found at the Ecclesiastical Insurance website here



Ronnie Semley, April 2023


Ronnie Semley, April 2023