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'Irreplaceable' items stolen from Victoria church

23 May 2014

CHRIST CHURCH, DAYLESFORD

MORE than 30 items, together valued at more than $A100,000, have been stolen from a country church in Victoria, in what police say was a well-organised operation.

A 17th-century timber screen depicting the Virgin Mary, a gem-encrusted brass and silver cross, a 17th-century mirror, an eagle lectern, candlesticks, the Gospel book, and the bishop's chair were among the items stolen overnight last week from Christ Church, Daylesford.

Daylesford, now a popular tourism centre, is a former gold-mining town 115 kilometres north-west of Melbourne.

The Bishop of Bendigo, the Rt Revd Andrew Curnow, hasdescribed the items as "irreplaceable", and said that the burglary seemed to have been well-planned. Police believe that there may have been several people involved, as some of the items stolen were heavy.

The Vicar, the Revd Jeff O'Hare, said that the church had an "open-door policy".

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