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'Distressing' break-in at beautiful West Berkshire church

Rector of St Mary's Church in Beenham expresses dismay on social media

Charlie Masters

Charlie Masters

charlie.masters@newburynews.co.uk

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07964 444701

Break-in at historic West Berkshire church

St Mary's Church in Beenham suffered a break-in last week, forcing parish staff to close it for several days.

The raid is believed to have happened last Tuesday evening. It was reported the following day, with the church rector, the Rev Jane Manley, taking to social media to express her dismay.

It is unconfirmed what, if anything, was stolen.

However, the break-in comes at a critical time for St Mary's, which like other churches across West Berkshire, had to limit its services over the lockdown period and has only recently resumed a normal programme of events. A socially-distanced harvest event was held a fortnight ago.

Mrs Manley said: "St Mary's Church stands as a beacon symbolising the love and community of the village of Beenham.

"Although tucked down a lane, it is a place of tranquility and peace for the village.

"It is so distressing when people break in and damage this beautiful building, which has stood here since 1857."

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