A statuette of the Madonna and Child has been stolen from a church rectory in Bodmin.
A 100 year-old, four foot high china structure was a gift to the Reverend Canon Graham Minors from a group of nuns while he was living in Gloucestershire and was popular with churchgoers, particularly children.
Now someone has placed a small teddy bear where the statuette once stood.
It has disappeared from an alcove at the car park of the rectory and Mr Minors would like it returned.
He said: " People are very upset that it has gone. Flowers were often left there and it was very popular with some of our European visitors, some of whom said prayers there.
"It was given to me by a group of nuns in Cheltenham who were disbanding. The Madonna and Child was likely to have been destroyed, and they gave it to me for safe keeping,'' he explained.
Mr Minors said it was not the first time the statuette had been removed.
"Someone took it some years ago and placed it on the roundabout at Church Square, which must have surprised motorists approaching the roundabout to see a Madonna there.
" I am now appealing for its return. Whoever has it, I would ask them to simply put it back where they found it or bring it to the church - no questions asked.''