BURGLARS sneaked into an ancient church and stole an ‘irreplaceable’ altar cloth.
It happened on Monday, between 10.15am and 3.30pm, at St Thomas A Becket Church, in Warblington.
The church, which dates back to Saxon times, is open to the public in the daytime as a place for quiet prayer and reflection.
But offenders took the 14ft by 7ft green altar cloth that had been hand-made by a parishioner with a dove embroidered on it.
They also tore up a hymn book.
PC Andrew Fuller, from Havant police station, said: ‘This church was targeted during the day while it was open for the use of members of the public.
‘The cloth that has been stolen is described as irreplaceable.
‘I would like to speak to anyone who recognises the cloth from the picture and has information about the incident.’
Call PC Fuller at Havant police on 101. Mini-Com users can call the police on 18001 101. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.