Theft in the manger from the church manger

A VINTAGE figurine that played a central role in a church nativity scene has been stolen.

The 60-year-old porcelain figurine that depicted baby Jesus was part of a set that included Mary and Joseph and had been at the center of the nativity scene at St. Thomas’s Church for at least 60 years.

Sometime after the church opened at 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday January 4 and before 11 a.m., a person or persons entered the church and committed some minor acts of vandalism and apparently removed the figurine from the nativity scene.

A frantic search for the figure was made in the hope that it had been hidden or thrown into the church, but to no avail.

CCP member David Price, whose father had been the vicar of Overmonnow Church for many years, said the theft was spotted when one of the ladies entering noticed that the tinkling of the small bell brass hanging by the door had been torn off, some of the flowers from a display had been torn off and the old wooden cover of the baptismal font had been moved.

“Then she saw that the manger in the nursery was empty and looked around to see if it had been placed elsewhere,” he said.

“It had been used every Christmas for decades as far back as I can remember,” he added.

He went on to say that the church used to have low-level anti-social behavior, usually during school holidays, “but in the last six months we’ve had things moved, plants and the like.” . But he said they were determined not to close the church and moved some things around to prevent theft.

“We are usually very lucky as lots of people come in and out, local businesses keep an eye on the place, but this loss is sad; the crèche has been in use for decades and something like the baby Jesus, with the les assorted figurines of Mary and Joseph that were used in my father’s day and before, had survived all those years without any problems”.

“We see an apple once in a while disappearing at harvest time and hope it went to a good home, but it’s just disappointing to upset people.

“As we removed all the decorations from the Christmas tree, we looked carefully to see if it had been hidden there, but unfortunately no, whether it had gone into the river or someone had thrown it somewhere , We’ll never know.

“If someone finds him, it would be nice to get him back, that’s our outside hope,” he added.

They don’t want to have to shut down the church completely, and install CCTV in a place of worship where individuals go in solitude and prayer “wouldn’t be right”.

The nativity scene is still there inside the church and if anyone finds the figurine and wishes to remain anonymous, the church would be grateful to see it in its place.

The theft was reported to police who said: “We have received a report of theft at St. Thomas the Martyr Church after a figure was allegedly removed from the nursery at some point between 10am and 11am on Tuesday January 4.”

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