Historic silver dating back to the 1700s was among the items stolen from a 12th Century abbey in a burglary.
Thieves took a number of "goblets and ornaments" from the 800-year-old Malmesbury Abbey, as well as money from the donation box.
The Reverend Oliver Ross said some of the items were more than 300-years-old and one dated back to the time of King Charles II.
"They have stolen from the children a sense of heritage" he added.
Mr Ross said: "They took the modern silver, which we use every day for Communion, but also took the Georgian silver, which is part of our history.
"While it's not massively valuable, it is of great emotional significance to us."
He added he does not think whoever stole the items had "even taken a moment to think what they're doing".
The vicar said he feels a "tremendous sense of disappointment" that someone would steal from a church and take away from the local heritage.
"I wouldn't steal from the House of God. Of course, following company policy, we will forgive," he said.
Mr Ross is hopeful that the items will be returned
"I would appeal to the person who did this to think again. Maybe just anonymously return them or to somebody who would give them to the abbey," he added.
Mr Ross said a piece of silver that was taken from the abbey a long time ago was later recovered after an attempt was made to sell it online.
Malmesbury Abbey has fully re-opened after being closed for a couple of days for police investigation work and a clean-up after a fire extinguisher was let off during the theft.
The vicar added that although the theft may be a "small thing" compared to what the historic abbey had been through in the past, including plague, fire and executions, it was still "sad".
Malmesbury Abbey is a Norman building which dates from about 1180.
It has been a Christian site since the 7th Century when a monastery was founded.
Police are investigating the theft and asked anyone with information to contact them.