Candlestick loss dismays

By FRAZER PEARCE

IT TOOK more than 100 years for someone to stoop this low.

On Friday afternoon a thief walked into St Paul's Anglican Cathedral in Rockhampton and took an irreplaceable brass candlestick from the altar.

The brazen theft has stunned and angered Anglican Dean Chris Whittall who said yesterday the William Street cathedral, built in 1879 and Rockhampton's oldest church, was always left open during the day to allow access for worshippers and tourists.

There had been minor thefts before but to his knowledge it was the first time something of such historical value had been stolen.

"I felt empty and then I felt indignation,'' he said, as he recalled the moment on Friday night he was told the candlestick was stolen.

"That someone could walk into a church and steal a candlestick from the altar.''

He said the missing piece belonged to a set of two candlesticks and a cross designed specially for the cathedral in the late 19th century.

"They are irreplaceable,'' he said.

"They are important to the church and are also part of Rockhampton's history.''

He said the church would have to review security which could mean either locking the cathedral during the day or removing all valuable items.

He was still "full of hope'' the candlestick would be returned and appealed for the person responsible to do the right thing.

Rockhampton police (4932 1500) are investigating.



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