MUSICAL equipment worth thousands of pounds has been stolen from a church in Torfaen, robbing local children of the chance to have free music lessons.

The brand-new equipment included keyboards and guitars still in their boxes, and was stolen from Noddfa Church in Abersychan.

The instruments had been bought using grant money from the Gwent High Sheriff's Community Fund – the church planned to use the equipment for free music lessons for children in the Abersychan area.

Local Torfaen councillor Giles Davies said the theft had been "devastating" for the church and its leader, Pastor John.

"Noddfa Church have been a huge support to our ward, supporting the elderly and vulnerable, homeless runs, homework clubs, toddler groups and the now iconic Carols under the Arch," Cllr Davies said.

"To see them targeted like this is a huge blow to the Abersychan ward. Can I appeal to the people who stole the items to return them to the church, as the only people this theft really affects are our children."

Noddfa Church has been feeding 100 families each week, delivering food parcels to residents in need, and Pastor John is continuing to hold services online for his congregation.

He said: "No burglary or pandemic can keep Noddfa down, and we will grow stronger from this.

"We pray for those who took these items, and offer them the same message of love and hope that we give our community."


Gwent Police believe the church, in Abersychan's Church Road, was broken into some time on Tuesday or Wednesday this week.

Cllr Giles said the theft had been discovered when lights were found to be on in the building.

He urged residents to keep an eye out for any under-priced musical equipment for sale.

The stolen instruments include:

- Two Fender FA-125ce Dreadnought electro-acoustic guitars.

- Two Ibanez AE205 electro-acoustic guitars in brown sunburst colour.

- One Takemine GN11M guitar of neutral satin colour.

- One Yamaha PSR E263 keyboard.

- Two single cutaway electro-acoustic Gear4Music guitars.

- Several guitar stands and bags.

Meanwhile, Torfaen's MP Nick Thomas-Symonds and MS (Member of the Senedd) Lynne Neagle have condemned the theft.

"Noddfa Church and Pastor John have done so much for our local community," Mr Thomas-Symonds said.

Ms Neagle said: "This is just awful, especially given the wonderful work [Pastor John] does in the community and given that the equipment was to provide free lessons to children."

Anyone with information about this incident should contact Gwent Police by calling 101, quoting 2000165419, or sendinga direct message to the force's Facebook or Twitter accounts.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111.