Peterborough thief steals Jesus from charity shop Nativity scene

A nativity has been robbed of its star this Christmas by callous thieves who preyed upon the religious figures set in The Salvation Army’s Peterborough store.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 1:13 pm
The Nativity Scene, which is now missing the Baby Jesus

Store manager Philippa Millard noticed the statue had disappeared on Tuesday. This is the latest item to go missing in a spate of unseasonal crimes at the shop. A separate break-in left an estimated one thousand pounds worth of damage with the back door crowbarred and till smashed. The thief left with just £1 which was in a collecting tin inside the popular charity shop.

The theft couldn’t have come at a worse time for the church and charity which is gearing for its busiest time of year supporting those in the community who are struggling at Christmas. The charity shop on Long Causeway, which only opened in April, acts as a local support hub for vulnerable people and families in need, providing warm clothing and household essentials as well as a safe space and listening ear.

Peterborough Salvation Army minister Major Gary Chaundy said: “It’s heart breaking that someone would steal the centre piece to Christmas especially when our faith in Jesus is the reason we feel called to serve our community through this shop.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

lKfMxRWg9d8zbmuB43xv

“All we’ve been left with is a virtually worthless nativity – no-one wants to buy a set without the most important person in it.

“We just hope that it’s someone who feels strongly that Jesus shouldn’t be in the set before the big day itself and he’s going to reappear in time for Christmas.”

Profits from the superstore and community hub support the local work of The Salvation Army, which includes a community centre at The Salvation Army’s Peterborough Citadel church on Bourges Boulevard. The church and community centre runs a free debt advice service, a day centre for older people, a befriending scheme, a Trussell Trust food bank, a Christmas present appeal and is a venue for the town’s winter night shelter for homelessness people.

Store manager Philippa Millard added: “Thankfully, the hurt we feel from the break-in and theft cannot overcome our commitment to help those who are struggling this Christmas. We will continue to open our doors and spread the good news that is found in that nativity scene.”

People looking to support The Salvation Army this Christmas can contact their local Salvation Army or donate online: https://salvationarmy.org.uk/donate.