18th century bell stolen by roof thief

Newham detectives are appealing for help in tracking a thief who stole an 18th century bell from a church.

Officers were called to St. Margaret’s Church in Barking Road, Canning Town on the night of Tuesday June 14 just after 11pm to reports of a man on the roof of the church.

Although he ran off before officers arrived, he managed to make off with an 18th century bell from the chapel. It is described as a ship’s brass bell with the date 1776 engraved on it.

The bell is used in consecration, to call people to receive communion. Church staff believe it was targeted by the thief for its metal rather than for its value as an artefact.

The church roof was also damaged in the incident although no lead was taken. The chapel has been refurbished recently and has only been open for about a year.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police on 0300 123 1212 or if they want to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.