An Elizabethan chalice that is believed to have been at a Suffolk church for more than 420 years has been stolen.

St Mary's Church in Letheringham, near Framlingham, was victim to a break-in as the last piece of silver from the times the village had an abbey was stolen.

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The incident is believed to have happened between July 12 and 14.

Suffolk Constabulary confirmed the theft of the chalice by saying: "During overnight period entry gained to locked and secure safe within insecure church vestry and a silver Elizabethan Chalice stolen from within by persons or persons unknown."

In May and June, police received reports about items taken from churches in Chattisham and in Ipswich. 

Thieves took around £1,000 worth of silver items from the vestry at St Mary's at the Elm Church, in Black Horse Lane, Ipswich. 

At All Saints and St Margaret's Church in Chattisham a sentimental wooden carving was stolen.

Previously a police spokesman issued a guideline for security in places of worship, which includes installing a monitored roof alarm and CCTV, locking the building and all the gates at night, as well as using forensic markers to mark valuable items that should be stored securely when not in use.