15th century painted panels in Holy Trinity Church, Torbryan, Devon England before the theft. The two figures on the right, in the left panel, are now missing.
Photo credit: The Churches Conservation Trust
 
Hayley Dixon, writing in The Telegraph this morning, reports that –
 
Priceless 15th century panels said to be of national importance have been “viciously hacked” out of a screen in a Devon church and stolen. The oak panels, which represent a variety of saints and church dignitaries, make up one of the few Rood screens to survive the “puritanical zeal” of the Reformation and are one of the best examples of their kind left in Britain, experts say. But it is feared that they have now been stolen by an opportunistic thief who hopes they will “get a tenner”  [£10] for them.
 
The Churches Conservation Trust has appealed for public help in tracing the rare artworks, which have been stolen from the Holy Trinity Church, in Torbryan, over the last three weeks. The church, a grade one listed building in the Devon countryside, is consecrated ground but is no longer in use. It is maintained by volunteers. Chief Executive of the conservation charity Crispin Truman said: “Two of the panels have been viciously hacked out, leaving a great big gaping hole. These are fantastic examples of craftsmanship of the time, they were probably done by a very high status craftsman, they were unique.
 
Full article here. See also the BBC News Devon video on the link here.