“Devastated” Sacred objects worth more than $20,000 stolen from Riccarton church

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jun 06, 2024 |

The Catholic parish in Christchurch is appealing to the public for help after sacred objects worth more than $20,000 were stolen.

The incident occurred around 11.30pm on June 2, with intruders entering the sacristy and presbytery at St Teresa’s Church in Riccarton.

They stole tabernacles and chalices, along with a small amount of cash.

Holy Family Christchurch parish priest Fr Michael Therese Scheerger CSJ said the Catholic community is “devastated” after the break-in – one of more than 10 at parish properties in recent years.

St Teresa’s Church in Riccarton.

St Teresa’s Church in Riccarton.

“It’s not just the monetary value,” Fr Scheerger said. “These items are sacred. They’re used for worship, for the celebration of the sacraments. They hold deep spiritual significance for our community.

“We’re heartbroken, but we’re not giving up hope.” Fr Scheerger said the items, which are unique and easily recognisable, could not be easily sold or used.

“We’re asking anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious to come forward,” he said.

“Even the smallest detail could help us recover these precious items.”

The repeated thefts have left the parish community feeling vulnerable and frustrated.

Although security measures have been implemented over the years, the thieves have always found a way to bypass them.

“We’re working closely with the police and exploring further security options,” explained Fr Scheerger.

“But we also need the support of the wider community.

“We urge anyone with information to contact the police or the parish directly.” The parish is offering a reward for information leading to the recovery of the stolen items. People are encouraged to contact the police or Holy Family parish. “We just want them back,” Fr Scheerger. “These are not just objects to us. They are part of our faith, our history and our community

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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