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Forgiveness for church vandals

PUBLISHED: 12:08 03 June 2003 | UPDATED: 13:57 03 March 2010

A STOWMARKET vicar who returned from holiday to find a stained glass window at his church had been smashed today promised to forgive the culprits.

More than £1,000 worth of damage was done to the parish church of St Peter and St Mary, in Church Walk, when bricks were hurled through parts of a Victorian window.

A STOWMARKET vicar who returned from holiday to find a stained glass window at his church had been smashed today promised to forgive the culprits.

More than £1,000 worth of damage was done to the parish church of St Peter and St Mary, in Church Walk, when bricks were hurled through parts of a Victorian window.

Although annoyed by the incident, which happened between May 27 and May 30, Rev Eden said education is they key to preventing it happening again.

"You can't pass judgement on whoever it was," he said.

"But I'd like to be able to help them understand how important these windows are historically, because they're part of the town's heritage.

"I'd like to help them appreciate it's part of our history and help them appreciate that the church is more than just a building and that we're here to help each other."

Rev Eden is now considering putting up metal guards over the windows to prevent the church from future attacks.

He said the church is a building that should be valued and respected by the whole community.

"The church is not just for the people who are in the congregation, it's there for the whole of Stowmarket, he said.

"By breaking the stained glass, we've lost a bit of the town's heritage. In some ways, that's irreplaceable because although we can replace the window with something similar, it won't be Victorian glass."

The incident happened while around 100 members of the church's congregation were on an annual holiday to the Suffolk countryside.

"We had a great time and then we find that there's a window broken at the church, which is of course disappointing," said Rev Eden.

Anyone with any information about the crime is asked to call Suffolk Police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or join the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk.

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