The theft of a bronze crucifix from the grounds of a Newcastle church has left the congregation "devastated", police have said.
The cross was taken from All Saints Church in Gosforth on Wednesday night.
Estimated to be worth £20,000, it stood for 56 years in the garden of remembrance where ashes were scattered.
Northumbria Police said no reputable scrap dealer would accept the 6ft (2m) statue and urged those responsible to do the right thing and return it.
'Pain and anguish'
The Reverend Canon Andrew Shipton, of All Saints Church, said: "It was a great shock to find that the bronze statue of our Lord had gone and a cause of considerable sadness."
Insp Harninder Bola, from Northumbria Police, added: "This is a highly sentimental piece of the remembrance garden at All Saints and the church and its congregation are understandably devastated.
"It watched over an area where the ashes of the community's loved ones have been scattered and these thieves have disturbed that area during their raid.
"Reputable scrap dealers will not accept this cross and we would ask the thieves to do the right thing and return it.
"There is no value in keeping the crucifix and the pain and anguish you have caused should not be underestimated."