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Historic silverware stolen from Chedgrave church

PUBLISHED: 09:47 19 November 2009 | UPDATED: 08:52 01 August 2010

Emily Dennis

A wealth of historic silverware dating back almost 500 years has been stolen from a Norfolk church after thieves ripped open a safe.

Local people are said to be "hugely upset" about the loss of the items from All Saints' Church at Chedgrave, near Loddon.

A wealth of historic silverware dating back almost 500 years has been stolen from a Norfolk church after thieves ripped open a safe.

Local people are said to be “hugely upset” about the loss of the items from All Saints' Church at Chedgrave, near Loddon.

Some historic items from Hardley Church, which were being kept in the safe at Chedgrave, were also stolen in the raid.

The stolen items include a silver chalice dated c1567 with the inscription “For the town of Chetgrave”, a silver paten dated c1568 with the inscription “For the town of Hadlei 1568” and a silver chalice dated c1568 with the inscription “The cuppe ptenyng to Hardla”.

Other items taken include a silver flagon dated 1822 with an inscription on the base which reads “Presented by Dame Mary Beauchamp Proctor the Parish Church of Chedgrave Christmas 1823”, a silver “wafer box”, a silver home communion set, and a baptism shell.

Richard Seel, associate vicar of the Chet Valley Benefice, said: “These items are about 450 years old and have been used in the church all those years. It is not the objects themselves, as precious as they are, but what hurts more is the loss of all that tradition and history.”

The thieves struck between 10am and 7.45pm last Monday. The church is open during the day but locked at night. The items that were stolen were not on display but were kept in a safe for security purposes.

The Rev Seel said the culprits ripped the back off the safe to get to the silverware in what appeared to be a “professional job”.

“It really is a sense of shock and violation,” he said. “Local people are hugely upset and would like these cups and plates back. They are priceless. It is our heritage.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Grant Buchanan at Loddon police station on 0845 456 4567 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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