The elders of the Lytton First Nation community are trying to understand what thieves would want with the contents of an historic church.
The Lytton First Nation Church was broken into sometime in April, and the items stolen include linens, gold candlesticks, and an antique organ.
The organ was donated to the community in 1877, said Chief Janet Webster.
“We’re finding it kind of odd,” she said, adding that the items have sentimental value for the community.
“The elders who use the church regularly are distraught,” she said. “They are hoping whoever took them would return them.”
The church wasn’t vandalized, but there was some clean up to do. The thieves broke in through a door that had to be fixed.
Webster said the 140 year-old church has never experienced this sort of theft.
“It feels like an invasion to our community,” she said.
The organ was donated to the community in 1877. It is large and would have taken several people and a truck to move. They’re hoping that someone saw something, and will report it to police.
Other items are smaller, but sentimental in value, Webser said.
There were two paintings stolen that were given to the church, as well as the gold candlesticks and the linens.
There was also a large wooden, carved chair, that was made for the bishop in the early 1970s.
“They took materials that they thought were of value,” she said.
Photos of the items are being circulated to museums and art galleries, which will make it hard for resale.
Anyone with any information about the theft is asked to contact the Lytton RCMP at 250-455-2225, or the Lytton First Nation at 1-888-755-2304.