'Thou shalt not steal': Thief returns antique Bible after 42 yea - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

'Thou shalt not steal': Thief returns antique Bible after 42 years

Posted: Updated:
A 200-year-old Bible that was pilfered from the Holy Trinity Church, in the coastal resort of Hastings, England, four decades ago has been returned. Courtesy Holy Trinity Church A 200-year-old Bible that was pilfered from the Holy Trinity Church, in the coastal resort of Hastings, England, four decades ago has been returned. Courtesy Holy Trinity Church

A man who broke the commandment "Thou shalt not steal" has returned a 200-year-old Bible that he pilfered from a British church four decades ago.

Simon Scott, treasurer of the Holy Trinity Church, in the coastal resort of Hastings, England, received the large, leather bound, book in the mail earlier this month.

It followed an anonymous note, inside an envelope marked with a German return address, that he'd received a few days earlier from the man who said he's taken the text back in 1971. 

"I hoped it was something to help fill our coffers," Scott told his local newspaper, The Hastings and St Leonards Observer. "But it turned out to be a 200-year-old Bible which was of little monetary value but came with a major story behind it."

The anonymous note said: "I've never managed to pluck up the courage to come and hand it back personally. But now that I've retired, I've definitely decided to get on the right side of things."

The author of the note explained that he was from Germany and had gone to the town to take an English language course with his wife but the lecturer seemed to be "very old, and had no teaching skills."

Some of the classes had been held at the church and when he saw some unused Bibles he thought he would take one "as compensation for the poor course" and to read at home.

"In fact," he said in the letter, "I never got around to doing it," adding that his wife was "very angry" with him for taking the book.   

"Whenever I came across the bible I would have this guilty conscience about doing it," he added.

Scott, who has been a church member since 1980, said the Bible in question was not small and would likely have sat on a lectern in the church. 

"It wouldn't have been an easy steal," he said. "It would have taken a bit of carrying, really." 

He added that he had sent a reply to a return address given on the anonymous note.

"I thanked him for sending it back and told him that it had created a lot of interest," he said.  

He added that he hoped the culprit could now sleep easier at night.

"I think he is a God-fearing chap and this was his attempt at a confession," he said. "It must have weighed very heavily on his mind. I'm sure he will be able to rest a little easier in his bed now."

  • Police step up tractor trailer patrols

    Police step up tractor trailer patrols

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:24 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:24:53 GMT
    It’s one of the most heavily traveled roads in the Low Country, I-95 and law enforcement is targeting the highway in an effort to prevent tractor trailer accidents. State transport police are teaming up with law enforcement in Georgia, North Carolina and Florida, in an effort called “safe drive on I-95.” From 2011-2013, there were nearly 400 collisions on I-95 involving tractor trailers, resulting in 20 fatalities and 200 plus injuries. State Transport Police tell News 2 that over 75% of t...
    It’s one of the most heavily traveled roads in the Low Country, I-95 and law enforcement is targeting the highway in an effort to prevent tractor trailer accidents. State transport police are teaming up with law enforcement in Georgia, North Carolina and Florida, in an effort called “safe drive on I-95.” From 2011-2013, there were nearly 400 collisions on I-95 involving tractor trailers, resulting in 20 fatalities and 200 plus injuries. State Transport Police tell News 2 that over 75% of t...
  • Next possible millionaires being groomed in Charleston

    Next possible millionaires being groomed in Charleston

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:47 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:47:02 GMT
    Millionaires are working to make the next entrepreneurs dream come true. It’s called Harbor Accelerator and it’s happening right here in Mt. Pleasant. Monday, the non-profit started their 2nd group of entrepreneurs to come through the program which helps get startups to the next level. Over the next 14 weeks, 8 entrepreneurs will line the halls of Harbor Accelerators, working together to get their businesses to the next level. 22-year old Arianna Megaro, along with 7 others, have come here...
    Millionaires are working to make the next entrepreneurs dream come true. It’s called Harbor Accelerator and it’s happening right here in Mt. Pleasant. Monday, the non-profit started their 2nd group of entrepreneurs to come through the program which helps get startups to the next level. Over the next 14 weeks, 8 entrepreneurs will line the halls of Harbor Accelerators, working together to get their businesses to the next level. 22-year old Arianna Megaro, along with 7 others, have come here...
  • TSA demonstrates importance of explosive sniffing dogs

    TSA demonstrates importance of explosive sniffing dogs

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 4:52 PM EDT2014-07-30 20:52:05 GMT
    Man's best friend is capable of doing more than humans when it comes to keeping the traveling public safe.The Transportation Security Administration has four explosive sniffing dogs in Charleston. Wednesday they demonstrated what the dogs, Brit and GGinley, are able to detect.Like many dogs in the program, GGinley is named in honor of one of the tragedies that makes his job important to our country. He's named after a firefighter lost on 9/11/2001. All TSA dogs with a double letter on their f...
    Man's best friend is capable of doing more than humans when it comes to keeping the traveling public safe.The Transportation Security Administration has four explosive sniffing dogs in Charleston. Wednesday they demonstrated what the dogs, Brit and GGinley, are able to detect.Like many dogs in the program, GGinley is named in honor of one of the tragedies that makes his job important to our country. He's named after a firefighter lost on 9/11/2001. All TSA dogs with a double letter on their f...
Powered by WorldNow

210 W. Coleman Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Telephone: 843.216.4875
Fax: 843.881.3410
Email: news@wcbd.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.