By Carl Jackson Friday 02 November 2012 Updated: 03/11 13:37
AN HISTORIC bell, which is more than 150 years old, has been stolen from a church in Cofton Hackett.
The cast iron tenor bell worth £3,000 was taken from St Michael's Church, Cofton Lane, between 7pm on Monday (October 29) and 3pm Tuesday (October 30).
Thieves damaged tiles as they clambered onto the church roof and unbolted it from its mounting.
They then dropped the bell which weighs half a tonne, onto the ground, causing more damage to the stonework.
It is 54cm wide and dates back to the mid-nineteenth century, bearing the inscription 'W Blews and Son, Birmingham, 1852'.
The bell was one of two rang every Sunday throughout the year.
Rev Rob Fieldson from St Michael's Church said he was hopeful it would be recovered and added the immediate priority was to repair the roof tiles to prevent rain coming in and disrupting services.
"It's greatly saddened people that someone would do something like this to a beautiful medieval church thats very important to the congregation.
"A lot of people come here in times of joy and sorrow and it is just so sad someone would damage it for a small financial gain."
PC Tim Burling of West Mercia Police believes it will likely be taken to a scrapyard
He said "This theft has outraged the local community and I am appealing for anyone with any information about who took it or anyone who knows where the bell is now to contact us."
Anyone witnesses or anyone with any information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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