Statement regarding the break-in at the Malmesbury Abbey

First published 16th November 2023

The Diocese of Bristol is aware that on Thursday 16th November, there was a break-in at the Malmesbury Abbey, which resulted in a number of items of great significance being stolen.

Wiltshire Police have been notified of the situation and are actively investigating it. At this time, the Diocese would like to request the public to provide space for the police to do their work and contact Wiltshire Police directly on 101 quoting reference number 54230121403 if anybody has information related to the case.

Revd Oliver Ross, Vicar of Malmesbury & the Upper Avon Group of Churches said: “We are all deeply hurt and dismayed by the break-in at the Abbey. It's been tremendously upsetting to lose a number of items of value to the town and the Abbey itself and we hope that the stolen objects can come back to our community.

"I would like to thank the police and all those who have been helping us. It's been especially moving to see the whole town come together and offer us incredible support in this time of hardship.”

Ven Christopher Bryan, Archdeacon of Malmesbury, said: “I was so saddened to hear of the theft at the Abbey. The community have lost part of their history, and feel their place of worship has been violated. My colleagues and I will support the Abbey in the days ahead.”

The Abbey will be closed until Saturday evening’s concert due to the ongoing work by the forensics and cleaning team. Please consult the Abbey website and social media channels for up-to-date information on opening times.

At this difficult time, the Diocese of Bristol asks everybody to hold the Malmesbury Abbey and people affected by this event in their prayers, as we all hope for the stolen items to be successfully recovered and work together towards healing.


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