A CHURCH warden has spoken of her sadness after thieves stole a five foot bronze statue paid for by parishioners.

The statue of Mary and Jesus, known as the Madonna and Child, was taken from St George’s Church in Great Bromley.

It is not known exactly when the item was taken but the church had fallen victim to thieves who targeted two safes in the church used to store holy items on February 17.

Church warden Jennifer Nicholls said: “I don’t know if they have taken it to melt it down for scrap metal or recognised its value as art. It is very upsetting.”