Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Nuns upset at theft of stones from Convent of St Lucy

Slabs removed from ground
Image caption Police described the theft as "a terrible crime" against the convent

Nuns living at a Hampshire convent have said thieves who stole century-old paving stones and drove over their flowerbeds must have been "desperate".

Twenty stones were stolen from grounds of The Convent of St Lucy, at Medstead Manor, Alton and six more from the top of a group of pillars.

Police have just released details of the theft, which happened overnight between 14 and 15 February.

An antique sundial was also taken from the grounds just before Christmas.

The nuns have started to mark their property to deter any future incidents at the convent, where there is a children's nursery.

Sister Dorothy Dicristofaro said of the thieves: "Well, we only feel a bit sorry for them.

"They have to be desperate to come to a place where a religious community resides, and is trying to do good work for the Lord and for the Church.

Direct message

"They've upset our privacy and our surroundings."

Image caption The nuns say the thieves have upset their privacy and surroundings

Ms Dicristofaro said in a direct message to the thieves: "We're sorry that you had to go to these lengths to upset our own religious community here.

"We hope that you could mend your ways and find other profitable ways to care for your needs."

The 100-year-old stones are described as white and very worn.

Witnesses are being urged to come forward.

Pc Alexis Stanbrook, of Hampshire Constabulary, said: "This was a terrible crime against the convent, a place of respect and worship.

"The stones were very old and precious to the nuns living at the convent, who have been very upset by the theft."

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