Northern Ireland

Church of Ireland: Four parishes targeted by thieves

Four parishes in County Down and Antrim have been targeted by thieves in the run-up to Christmas, the Church of Ireland has said.

Money was stolen from St Malachy's Church in Hillsborough, Aghaderg Church, Loughbrickland and St John's Church, Dromara.

St Andrew's Church in Lisburn, County Antrim, was targeted as well.

A Church of Ireland spokesperson said the robbers used specialist equipment to break into the parish safes.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Church of Ireland Diocese of Down and Dromore said:

"Following a recent spate of robberies on church premises we have urged our clergy to be extra vigilant over the Christmas period.

"We are saddened to have been targeted in this way and hope that no further such incidents occur for us or for anyone else in this Christmas season and beyond."