A church bell which has played an important part in village life in Walpole Cross Keys for more than 100 years was stolen over the weekend.
The bell from St Helen’s Mission Church was given to the late Anne Young when the church was converted into a residential property in the 1970s.
Mrs Young, who passed away last year, was born in the village and was a Sunday school teacher at the church.
She kept the bell on a specially made stand in her garden and rang it every New Year’s Eve.
Her daughter Mari Cuschieri said: “A lot of the older residents remember ringing the bell in the church as a child.
“My uncle used to race across the road to get to the bell and ring it for the start of Sunday school.
“My mother was given it by the architect who converted the church as he knew of her history and how important the bell was to the village and that she would look after it.”
Mrs Cuschieri said the family had planned to auction the bell to villagers, with the stipulation that it must stay in the village. Any donations would have gone to Breast Cancer UK as Mrs Young had breast cancer.
Mrs Cuschieri said: “I’m really shocked. The biggest thing for me is that the villagers are losing their bell and the charity has been robbed of a donation.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101.