Priest's wallet stolen during Sunday mass

The Local Norway
The Local Norway - [email protected]
Priest's wallet stolen during Sunday mass
Melhus Church - Photo: Melhus Church

A priest in Norway returned to the vestry after serving mass on Sunday to discover a particularly unscrupulous thief had made off with his wallet and mobile phone.


John Olav Hodne, a parish priest at Melhus Church, just outside Trondheim, failed to notice anyone moving around in the room during the service, even though its entrance stands just a few metres from the alter. 
 "I didn't see anyone," he told The Local. "During the service, someone came into the changing room for the vicars and took this case with my phone and my credit cards." 
"It is a particularly disagreeable and unusual theft," Ebbe Kimo from the South Trøndelag Police told Norway's NRK. "We hope that the matter gets a little attention so we can get some tips. It could be that someone saw something suspicious around Melhus church this morning."  
When The Local first contacted Hodne on Monday, he was unaware that the theft had made national news in Norway, and went so far as to ask whether he was being called by the thief. 
"Do you have my phone and my credit cards and everything?" he asked suspiciously.  
Later, he argued that stealing from a church was no different from stealing from a house.  "It's terrible anywhere," he said. "The most annoying thing is all the work it costs to close up your cards and close up your sim cards, and on top that I've had so many journalists calling me, and that's a whole lot of work too." 
Reidulf Krossli Ljøkjell, who was pastor of the same church up until 2009, told Aftenposten that he had also had his mobile phone stolen during a service.
"I think I saw someone moving around back there at the time, but you can not do much while you're leading worship," he said.
"You also have to get pretty close to the priest holding a church service when you go in there," he added. "It's a bit cheeky." 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also