Generations of Wanstead documents stolen

Panels of the church’s main door were prised off

Records of Wanstead marriages, burials and baptisms were among the items stolen by thieves from the office at Christ Church early on Sunday morning.

Money collected at the church’s Christingle service, which had been intended for the Children’s Society, was also stolen, though a JustGiving appeal set up after the thefts has, at the time of writing, raised more than £2,300 for the charity.

The documents however cannot be replaced and the information was not held elsewhere.

Wanstead rector Father James Gilder said: “In the safe were all of our records – who was baptised, who was confirmed, who got married, and also more sadly the records from our garden of remembrance, where people’s ashes are buried.”

The documents were in a safe which the burglars could not break into – so they removed it from the wall and took it away, escaping bizarrely, on an electric scooter. The church is now appealing for anyone who might see a grey box safe dumped nearby to get in touch, as it may contain the documents.

“Please keep a lookout for papers and folders that may get dumped in skips, waste ground, in the parks or forest land in the area,” the parish said on Facebook. “If you do spot anything, please let us know using the contact numbers on our website.”

4 thoughts on “Generations of Wanstead documents stolen”

  1. The church has become a magnet for drug users/ dealers, and anti-social behaviour. I’m not surprised this has happened. Police patrols are rare. Not a priority for them.

  2. What a sad, sad state. This must have been awful for you. Hopefully somebody will find something and do the decent thing – return it all.

    1. Let’s hope so. Both my children were baptised at Christ Church and my daughter was married there just last year. It’s horrible to think all those records have gone.

  3. Is it possible for anyone who was married/christened/confirmed there to let the church know so that they can put together some sort of record of dates and times?

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