Flowers and pebbles taken from Town Church display

THIEVES stole memorial flowers and pebbles from a display outside the Town Church.

With collaboration from the community, an impromptu gallery was created to celebrate togetherness under lockdown.

Included in the display were flowers which were thought to have been left by those who could not attend funerals or visit resting sites due to current restrictions.

Rector’s churchwarden and display organiser Ruth Abernethy said: ‘We don’t know who painted the pebbles as they were left anonymously but they were in lots of different styles and used different types of paint.

‘I think they were made by a range of people of all different ages, including children.’

The police have been informed about the theft, which happened on Tuesday 7 May.

‘The flowers were also left anonymously, but I understand from some messages the Town Church has received that they were left in memory of loved ones who have died.

‘I placed some of the flowers in a vase to keep them fresh for longer and the vase was taken too.’

All the pebbles appeared to vanish at once.

‘I find the taking of the flowers particularly upsetting because, at this time when churches are closed and funerals can’t take place as normal, it is almost as though the flowers have been taken from someone’s grave.

‘The display of hand-painted pebbles grew organically, people began to leave them in front of the door and then others added to it. The collection had been building for some considerable time from before Easter Day, and so it is a real shame that someone has taken most of them – a few have been left.’

Prior to the incident the pebble display proved popular.

‘The people who I have spoken to about what has happened have been dismayed that such a thing has happened. The display was really lovely.

‘Lots of people passing by stopped to look and admire it and pebbles were still being added to it.

‘In fact, the display was so popular that I made posters explaining it was a pebble art gallery and also put a gallery gift shop out in front of the church from which people can buy pebbles to support the church at this difficult time. None of the pebbles in the gift shop are more than £3 so if anyone wanted painted pebbles they could have bought them from the gift shop and didn’t need to steal the ones that had been donated.

‘The gift shop is still there if anyone would like to buy a painted pebble. They are all painted by hand by members of the Town Church.’

It is hoped the gallery will return stronger than ever.

‘I am hoping that when people read the story they will be encouraged to decorate a pebble and place it in the gallery so that it comes back even stronger and better than before.

‘Perhaps people will also like to buy pebbles to take home with them or to give as gifts.’

n Anyone with information can contact Guernsey Police on 725111 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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