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PS3,000 BIBLE STOLEN FROM CHURCH; ... and thief replaces it with one worth PS15 PS3,000 bible stolen from church.


A HISTORIC bible worth PS3,000 has been stolen from a church - with the thief replacing it with a modern one. The rare 1589 Breeches Bible was taken after the locked glass cabinet in which it was kept at St Mary's Church, Trefriw, was levered open.

Church warden Hilary Rogers Jones was shocked to find a Good News version left in its place yesterday. Continued on Page 3 She said: "I think it has been stolen to order, it was a perfect crime as the police found no fingerprints.

"The thieves must have felt slightly guilty, as they replaced it with a modern version of the bible - or maybe are just laughing at us."

She added: "It was a horrible shock to find that it's gone as it was so rare. We as a church were so proud of it as it was one of our jewels.

"I just hope whoever has stolen will have a prick of conscience and return it.

"The last time I saw it was on October 24 when I had shown it to somebody. We are keeping an eye out for it on eBay and so on, that's all we can do at the present."

Adrian Beckham, a rare bookseller from From Page 1 Suffolk who currently has a Breeches Bible for sale, explains why they are so valuable.

"If they are complete with the brass clasps and brass corners, and the binding is good, then they are worth around PS3,000," he said.

"The American market is very interested in Raid: St Mary's them, as the Breeches Bible was the one the Pilgrim Fathers took to America with them.

"I've seen one go for PS20,000 in America and it wasn't anything special."

PC Nerys Thomas, who is leading the investigation, said: "The church has only been open four times between October 24 and December 1. Anyone who may know of its whereabouts is asked to contact PC2505 Thomas on 101, quoting reference number RC13196544."

St Mary's Church is built on the site that Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Wales famously built a church for his wife Joan, the youngest daughter of King John of England, in 1204 or 1205, when she had grown weary of the trek up the steep hill to the church at Llanrhychwyn.

Mary's Church BREECHES Bible is a book-collectors' term for the Geneva Bible of 1560. The term derives from the reference in Genesis iii: 7 to Adam and Eve clothing themselves in breeches made from fig leaves.

The Geneva Bible was one of the results of the persecution under Bloody Mary (1553-1558). The bibles were printed in Geneva as they were a Protestant version of the bible and England at the time had a Catholic queen. The first version was printed in 1576.



Feeling empty: warden Hilary Rogers Jones and Breeches Bible (inset)
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Dec 3, 2013
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