More details have emerged following a spate of burglaries at four parish churches across the district.
Money was stolen from St Mellan’s Church, Loughbrickland and St John’s Church Dromara with St Andrew’s Church in Lisburn and St Malachy’s Church in Hillsborough also falling victim to theft.
It is now known that entry was forced into the Loughbrickland church on Scarva Street on Thursday, December 18, shortly after 1pm, when a safe was broken into and a sum of cash taken.
A Church of Ireland spokesperson said the robbers had used specialist equipment to break into the parish safes.
“Following a recent spate of robberies on church premises we have urged our clergy to be extra vigilant over the Christmas period” a spokesperson for the Church of Ireland Diocese of Down and Dromore said.
“We are saddened to have been targeted in this way and hope that no further such incidents occur for us or for anyone else in this Christmas season and beyond.”
Meanwhile police in Banbridge have renewed their appeal and are asking anyone who has information to contact them in Banbridge on 101, quoting ref: 566181214.