Church 'devastated' after theft of sacred objects

St Teresa’s Church in Riccarton. Photo: Supplied
St Teresa’s Church in Riccarton. Photo: Supplied
A "devastated" Riccarton church community is appealing to the public for help after sacred objects worth more than $20,000 were stolen.

The incident occurred about 11.30pm on Sunday, June 2, at St Teresa’s Church in Riccarton.

Police said the intruders entered the sacristy and presbytery and 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 that have occurred at parish properties across the city in recent years.

"It's not just the monetary value," 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."

Scheerger said the items are unique and easily recognisable. He did not believe they could 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 break in has left the parish community feeling vulnerable and frustrated, Scheerger said.

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," said 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 if they have any information that could help.

"We just want them back," Scheerger said.

"These are not just objects to us. They are part of our faith, our history and our community."