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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 June 2007, 17:43 GMT 18:43 UK
'Glyndwr' church theft concerns
Inside of Pennal Church
The Shiva Hindu deity was stolen from inside the church
A Hindu deity has been stolen from a Gwynedd church linked to Welsh prince Owain Glyndwr.

The theft of the Shiva is the latest in a series of incidents at Pennal, near Machynlleth, according to the Reverend Geraint ap Iorwerth.

St Peter ad Vincula Church, along with a nearby multi-faith centre, have had status and other artefacts tampered with over a two-year period, he said.

The vicar said North Wales Police have been informed.

"The ethos behind our ministry is that we welcome anyone from any religion," said Rev ap Iorwerth.

It is very disrespectful for someone to come into a church to steal something
Rev Geraint ap Iorwerth

In Pennal various religious symbols are placed along the window sills, with the idea that anyone, from any faith, could use the building, he said.

The 40 members of the church raised funds to buy a replacement Shiva statue.

In the Indian-style ashram, Hagia Soffia, the Buddha statue had been "turned upside down on numerous occasions,", he said.

"I think he would have been taken had he not been too heavy to carry," Mr ap Iorwerth added.

"It is very disrespectful for someone to come into a church to steal something," he said.

"It is sad when someone can't respect property, whether it be a Manchester United football shirt or a Shiva," he added.

In recent years Mr ap Iorwerth has opened a garden at St Peter ad Vincula Church dedicated to the Welsh princes.

He has also unveiled a statue of Owain Glyndwr at the church, to which former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant donated money.

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