Police called after Alderney church icons go missing

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RIDDLES around religious artefacts have baffled Biblical scholars for centuries.

But in the mysterious case of the disappearing Stations of the Cross, it is St Anne's Church's wardens, acting vicar, congregation and, latterly, the police who are completely stumped.

Ten of the 16 vividly-coloured scenes depicting Christ's tribulations on his final journey towards His crucifixion which have adorned the walls of the parish church for more than 10 years have been missing since Thursday of last week.

Church warden Stephen Hanbury was alerted to their absence by a puzzled parishioner and immediately thought there must be an innocent explanation.

The last theft at the church was when its bells were taken during the Occupation, four of the six coming close to being melted down by the Germans for munitions.

'We first appealed to those who may have had a legitimate reason for taking them, but the announcement to the congregation on Sunday drew a blank,' said Mr Hanbury. 'On Monday we decided to call in the police and the Dean of Guernsey was duly informed.

'What is truly mystifying is why anyone would have taken the icons. In a situation like this, one is inclined to think of theft but, on an island where few see the need to lock their doors, this borders on the unimaginable.'

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