'I was horrified' – Sundial containing couple's ashes stolen from church
PUBLISHED: 09:12 02 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:12 02 June 2018
CONTRIBUTED BY MARY AND DESMOND MANLEY
A couple have spoken of their horror after a memorial containing their friends’ ashes was stolen from a church.
A sundial holding the remains of Roy and Peggy Talbot and their beloved dog Dillon was taken from Rishangles Baptist Church, in Suffolk, on Friday, May 11.
The structure, which has a gold plaque on the top bearing Mrs Talbot’s name, has a heavy base and police believe a vehicle would have been needed to transport it.
The 3ft high sundial was placed in the church yard two-and-a-half years ago by the couple’s closest friends, Mary and Desmond Manley, from Debenham.
Mrs Manley, 81, said: “I was horrified – it’s not the sort of thing you expect really.”
Mrs Talbot grew up in Rishangles while Mr Talbot was raised in Fressingfield.
The couple lived together in Eye after they wed in 1947 and they devoted a lot of their time to the baptist church, which Mrs Talbot had attended since childhood.
In retirement they moved to Skegness and joined the Salvation Army.
After Mrs Talbot died in 2005 aged 85, her husband had the sundial made in her memory and he moved to Debenham.
Mr Talbot was reunited with his wife once he died in 2015 at 90, and the sundial was left to Mr and Mrs Manley.
“They never had any family so they looked on my husband and myself as their family,” said Mrs Manley, who described the couple as “lovely people”.
Mrs Talbot said she couldn’t understand why someone would do this, but she has this message for those responsible: “Please let us have it back – it’s no use to anyone else and they would be too upset if they knew what has happened.”
Matthew Hicks is a district and county councillor for Rishangles.
He said: “Any stealing from any church is very sad, whether it’s the lead stolen across the county or a sundial it is really something that is very sad to read about and I very much hope the police are successful in trying to find the person responsible.
“In this case it’s particularly sad when you hear it contained the ashes of residents who gave a lot of time to the community.”
Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to contact them on 101 quoting crime reference 37/27462/18, or the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.