Manchester primary school devastated after historic outdoor crucifix is stolen

A school and the wider community have been left devastated after the theft of an historic crucifix in the run up to Easter.

It’s understood vandals struck in the early hours of Monday morning outside St Mary’s RC Primary and Nursery School in Langley, Middleton. Images show one of two statues has been toppled, with a third appearing to be missing. The large crucifix was also broken down, with just part of the wooden base remaining in the ground.

A GoFundMe appeal to replace the crucifix has now been launched as the school’s headteacher issued a statement and parishioners spoke of their shock.

It’s the second similar theft recently after the Manchester Evening News revealed a crucifix was cut down and stolen from outside a church in Salford.

The Salford statue, believed to be 100 years old this year, was stolen – together with statues of a kneeling angel and St Bernadette – from outside St Luke’s Roman Catholic Church on Swinton Park Road in Irlams o’ th’ Height, Salford, with police confirming an investigation is underway.

It’s understood thieves used an electric saw to cut through the base of the crucifix, before dragging it along the ground to a car park at the side of the church, with the parish of Our Lady of Hope in Salford, which comprises St Luke’s Church, saying the thefts had caused ‘great sadness’.

The crucifix outside St Mary’s in Langley is understood to have stood for 70 years. Greater Manchester Police has been alerted, the school said, and it’s understood CCTV footage has been handed over as part of the investigation.

In a statement to parents on Monday, the school’s head Sarah Bollado said: “There is great sadness in our school community following on from the desecration of our Calvary statue last night between the hours of midnight and 1.30am.

“This is deeply upsetting for the community of Langley as the crucifix and statues have stood proudly outside St Mary’s School for decades.

“The school has reported this crime to Greater Manchester Police and we appeal to anyone with any information to please come forward. I would like to personally thank all the parents and parishioners who have been in contact to offer us their support and assistance. It is a very sad day for us all, but this will only bring our community closer as we stand together.”

The GoFundMe appeal reads: “In the early hours of Monday 18th March between 12am-1.30am the statue of the crucifix was removed from St Mary’s school,” saidDanny Goodier, who organised the GoFundMe.

“After speaking with the school this morning it appears the damage that has been caused by this inconsiderate crime is by far greater than we knew about.
“The school security has been damaged leaving the safety of the children the most important task to be sorted out. This alone will cost the school around £10,000 to replace. This is without the damage they have caused by removing Jesus and Mary.
“I have decided to keep the go fund me up to raise as much as possible to help the school by replacing what has been removed, after looking into this the statues are going to cost around £10,000 to replaced if not more.
“I understand this is a high target but even if we as a community can help raise just a fraction of that to help take away the burden from the school it would be a great help.
“Thank you once again to everyone that has donated so far, it is greatly appreciated by everyone at St Mary’s and in the community.”
If you wish to donate, please use this link: