Vicar’s silver lining

A HAUL of stolen silver and artefacts has been handed back to a stunned vicar. The Rev Richard Darmody said he was astonished to be handed back the stolen goods, including a silver chalice, a plate and flagon used for Holy Communion and a wafer box. They

A HAUL of stolen silver and artefacts has been handed back to a stunned vicar.

The Rev Richard Darmody said he was astonished to be handed back the stolen goods, including a silver chalice, a plate and flagon used for Holy Communion and a wafer box.

They had been inside a safe stolen from St Mary's Church in Ramsey.

The Rev Darmody said: "They had all been beautifully cleaned and were sparkling - possibly to remove any fingerprints.


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"The man said he had not been involved in the theft but said he was disgusted that the church had been broken into.

"I got the impression that he had put pressure on the thief to give the goods to him so that he could return them.

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"He was not a local man. I don't know his name and he didn't want to be identified. I believe he was acting in good faith and his action has restored hope.

"You hear so much about things being stolen but how often do you hear that something has been returned?"

The Rev Darmody said that the return would mean a lot to worshippers at St Mary's.

"It is a small congregation of about 20 people who really are struggling to keep going. The silverware dates back to 1859 when the church was opened for the benefit of labourers who worked in the fields."

He added: "Some of the silver was slightly damaged when the safe was prised open. There are dents in the flagon and on the plate but it is wonderful to have it back.

"This exceeds my expectations. It is not just a matter of having the items back,. The fact that it was returned offers far more joy than the silver itself. I am overjoyed."

Mr Darmody, who also looks after the Church of St Thomas a Beckett, in Ramsey, and St Peter's Church, in Upwood, said the man knocked on his door at about 5pm on Tuesday last week.

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