Thieves raid Little Lever church during midnight mass

The Bolton News: The Rev John Wiseman at the rail where the garments were stolen The Rev John Wiseman at the rail where the garments were stolen

THIEVES stole items worth more than £300 from a church — during its Christmas Eve midnight mass service.

The service was being held at St Matthew’s Church, in Church Street, Little Lever, when three items were stolen from the area at the back of the building.

Two cottas — short garments worn by priests and servers — which are worth £120 each, were stolen, along with an alb — a white vestment reaching to the feet — which is worth £90.

These are believed to have been stolen at about 1am on Christmas Day.

The Reverend John Wiseman, aged 56, who conducted the service and has been vicar at the church for 11 years, said: “The whole church is gutted.

“It’s very unusual for something like this to happen and it’s a shame it had to happen on Christmas Eve of all times.

“As a church, we have a great relationship with the village and the surrounding community.

“I’d like to think this was a light-hearted prank. Perhaps, in their high spirits, those responsible may not have realised how much the items that they stole were actually worth.”

Mr Wiseman urged those responsible to come forward, He added: “These garments are valuable items — they could have been used in a service concerning these people’s families.

“I would imagine these items have either been dumped in the village or left in someone’s house.

“But I hope these items can be returned to the church as soon as possible — that would be absolutely ideal.”

Police are investigating.

Comments (2)

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9:56am Mon 30 Dec 13

oftbewildered2 says...

sadly in this day and age even churches have to ensure the back door is locked and the windows barred, even when occupied.
sadly in this day and age even churches have to ensure the back door is locked and the windows barred, even when occupied. oftbewildered2

12:18pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Lancashire always says...

Strange thing to steal sounds hopefully once the fancy dress season is over they will be returned !!!!!!
Strange thing to steal sounds hopefully once the fancy dress season is over they will be returned !!!!!! Lancashire always

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