WILMINGTON, Del. — A grand lectern that stood in the sanctuary of a Wilmington church for more than a century has been stolen.

The nearly 7-foot-tall bronze lectern went missing from the Cathedral Church of St. John sometime during the past two weeks.

The Ministry of Caring, a nonprofit group known for its Emmanuel Dining Room network to feed the needy, signed an agreement to purchase the 3-acre church complex in 2015 to redevelop into apartments.

Development Director Priscilla Rakestraw said the piece is an important part of the church’s history. It was installed in the church in 1911.

The ministry is planning to convert the Gothic Revival-style church into apartments for moderate- and lower-income senior residents.

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