Thieves have stolen a six-foot bronze crucifix from a church remembrance garden in Newcastle.
According to Daily Mail, thieves took the sculpture from a garden where mourners scattered the ashes of their loved ones outside All Saints Church in Gosforth, Newcastle.
The crucifix, which was erected in the church’s remembrance garden in 1965, was stolen overnight on Thursday, May 13, the report said.
Confirming the incident, Neighbourhood Inspector Harninder Bola, of Northumbria Police 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.’
He said the ‘pain and anguish you have caused should not be underestimated’, adding ‘there is no value in keeping the crucifix’.
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.’
The crucifix was sculpted by internationally acclaimed artist Frank Roper who undertook work for churches and cathedrals across the country before his death in 2005.