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Away with the manger

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By Abbey Morton
Annan and Eskdale
Away with the manger

WITH the Angel Gabriel looking on, heartless thieves yesterday stole the Son of God . . . from a nativity scene outside an Annan church.

And the broad-daylight theft has been condemned by police and members of the Old Parish Church.

Workers in the area confirmed the crib containing baby Jesus was in place yesterday morning, but by mid afternoon it was gone.

Upon hearing the news, Rev Dave Whiteman said: “Obviously it is a shock that somebody would come onto church grounds and steal baby Jesus and his manger.

“Before we put it in place, somebody did question if it was a good idea – they were worried someone would vandalise it – but we had faith, we’ve got to. It was bolted down so someone has wrenched it out, they’ve been pretty determined.

“Someone will know something and I urge them to contact the police.”

He also revealed the church had plans to make a bigger nativity scene next year, complete with stable, hay and music.

And the despicable theft has not killed off Rev Whiteman’s Christmas spirit and he still hopes to go ahead with next year’s extravagant plans.

He added: “I don’t think something like this should put us off.”

Since the theft church members have been busy arranging a new model of the infant Christ, and a crib for a bed.

Commenting on the incident, a spokesman for Police Scotland said: “It seems that nothing is safe from theft or vandalism nowadays.

“The nativity scene at the Old Parish Church in Annan has drawn many admiring remarks and has been a talking point in the town this year.

“Whether this has been taken as a prank or out of spite does not matter, it is indeed a crime which will shock the town.

“Police Scotland urges anyone who may have any knowledge of this despicable act to call them on the 101 system.”

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