Moderator suspected as jewel thief

24 May 2013

JOHN YOUNG

No thief: the Rt Revd Lorna Hood, Moderator of the General Assem­bly of the Church of Scotland

No thief: the Rt Revd Lorna Hood, Moderator of the General Assem­bly of the Church of Scotland

THE new Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Revd Lorna Hood, caused a stir when she took the official Moderator's ring into a jewellery shop to have it resized.

The original gold band, which has a violet amethyst engraved with a burning bush and the Kirk's motto, Nec tamen consumebatur, was stolen from the serving Moderator's house in December 2010. The stone was later returned anonymously, and a new ring made. The new ring was stolen in April, this time from a bag in Edinburgh Airport, together with a small gold cross pendant (News, 12 April). 

Police Scotland and church officials distributed a description of the ring; but did not disclose that a duplicate existed (pictured, right). So, when Mrs Hood took the duplicate to a jeweller in Hamilton to be resized, before taking up her post of Moderator last weekend, sharp-eyed staff recognised the ring, and called the police.

Police Scotland have confirmed that they had contacted the Kirk's HQ in Edinburgh to report that the ring had been found.

"I thought my official photos as Moderator might end up on Crimewatch, or end up with a serial number in front of it," Mrs Hood said, after the misunderstanding had been resolved.

The Kirk is offering a substantial reward for the return of the ring.

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