Officials at Ipswich church to consider day time closure following latest theft

St Mary Elms Church in Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKER

St Mary Elms Church in Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKER - Credit: Archant

Officials at an historic church in Ipswich are considering closing it during the day following the latest theft.

On Saturday, between 2pm and 2.30pm, an alms box, set into the wall of grade II listed church, St Mary at the Elms, on the corner of Elm Street and Black Horse Lane, was hacked out and taken.

The thieves, all recorded on CCTV, took half an hour to achieve their aim, in the process doing over £1,000 in damage.

Churchwarden Hugh Pierce estimates that as the wall box is emptied regularly there would probably have been less than £10 inside.

There have been other losses from the church recently - including the repeated theft of altar cloths.

Mr Pierce said: “The disrespect and selfishness of some people is making us to reconsider our policy of keeping the church open during the day.

“So many people drop in regularly for a moment of peace, meditation or prayer, it would be terribly sad if we had to close. It would be a great loss to the community. But that is what we will have to consider.”

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