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St Joseph's priest calls for return of stolen religious items

‘Please bring them back’ is the plea from a priest after religious items were stolen from his church in Maidenhead.

Father John Lee, of St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Cookham Road, is urging anyone with information about the theft of a ciborium and two chalices, to come forward.

It is believed to have happened between 8pm on Saturday and 7.30am on Sunday.

“They are of particular value to us,” the 57-year-old said.

“Just bring them back, please.

The theft has left Father Lee worried about keeping the church, which has been targeted by thieves before, open at certain times of the week due to its vulnerability.

“It creates a difficulty because as a place of worship, we like to keep the building open,” he said.

“This is not how we would like things to be, but it is the reality of living in 2017.”

One chalice is described as made of sterling silver, and hallmarked.

It has a centre knob decorated with four stones, and is inscribed with the message: “Pray for Emily and Marie Coleman presented to Rev P Curtin at St Joseph’s Maidenhead.”

The other chalice is silver-plated, with an ornate base.

One of them is believed to have appeared in a Maidenhead Advertiser report in December 1912 during a presentation at the church.

The ciborium, a type of receptacle shaped like a cup, is made of sterling silver, with an octagonal-shaped base that has half-round beaded edges.

It has a small bowl with a plain rim, and a lid topped with a four-sided cruciform.

They were stored in a cabinet in the church, and would be used for Catholic Mass, though they have not been used on a day-to-day basis.

It is not the first time the church has been targeted in the past year, with money from its collection having been stolen previously.

Contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 with information.

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