Church loses prized cross
KINGSTON — Worshippers at the historic St James Parish Church in Montego Bay are praying purposefully for the return of a centuries-old processional cross which was stolen by thieves last week.
Up to Jamaica Observer press time last night, police in the north coast tourist resort city had been unable to find clues as to the whereabouts of the valuable brass cross and other items which were stolen from the church last Monday.
Rector of the church, Rev Canon Justin Nembhard, said he has had to substitute the brass cross for a wooden one which he had built immediately, and the church also had to use substitutes of the other stolen items at last Sunday’s worship service.
Canon Nembhard said that the stolen items also included brass candlestick holders, a missal stand and a collection plate, all of which had important historical value having been in the church for decades.
The church was built between 1775 and 1782 and later underwent substantial repair work in 1957 following damage from an earthquake.
Attempts were also made by the culprit(s) to remove the lectern, but they failed in their bid to do so.
“All the items which were taken were brass, but they had a shiny look to them so it could be that they were thought to be gold,” Nembhard said.
It is speculated that the items could have been taken to fuel the cash-for-gold trade and not necessarily the scrap metal trade, as Nembhard said the base of the candlestick holders were made of heavy metal and those were left behind by the irreverent thieves. (Observer)