400-year-old bible stolen from Datchet church

The Reverend Peter Wyard has pleaded with criminals to hand back a ‘priceless’ bible stolen from St Mary’s Church, Datchet.

Reverend Peter Wyard and church warden Ros Austin where the bible was displayed

Reverend Peter Wyard and church warden Ros Austin where the bible was displayed

The 400-year-old bible was stolen from St Mary’s Church in London Road, Datchet, the Slough Observer reported yesterday.

Church officials did not notice it had been stolen as thieves replaced it with a hymn book

The bible, printed by King James’ Royal printer and Datchet resident Robert Barker in 1614, had been on display in a locked cabinet at the church for more than 20 years after the church purchased it, and the church cleaner first noticed the bible was missing on Friday, June 13.

It might not be priceless but it feels like it to us emotionally and historically

The theft is thought to have happened between 8pm on Thursday, June 12 and 9am on Friday, June 13.

The Reverend Peter Wyard, also the vicar for Colnbrook, told the Observer:

“It might not be priceless but it feels like it to us emotionally and historically. We would like people to please keep their ears and eyes open in case they hear of it or see it for sale on the internet. We would love to have it back.  We are very sad that it is gone as it is a part of us and we would love to have it back.”

King James I commissioned Datchet resident Robert Barker, to print the new bible in 1604.

The police have confirmed they are investigating the incident, and anyone with information is urged to contact police on 101, or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 111 555.

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