Priest: 'constant war' with vandals

A SENIOR priest has spoken of her dismay that worshippers are fighting a constant battle with vandals – as eight stained glass Victorian church windows smashed in the latest attack.

A SENIOR priest has spoken of her dismay that worshippers are fighting a constant battle with vandals – as eight stained glass Victorian church windows smashed in the latest attack.

The incident, at the town centre St Peter and St Mary's Church in Station Road West, Stowmarket, saw late Victorian 1870s windows damaged between 1pm on Friday and 10.45am on Saturday.

In a separate incident the nearby Red Cross charity shop in Bury Street had its front window smashed, although police are not linking the vandalism which took place at a similar time – between 4pm on Friday and 9am on Saturday.

The exact cost of the damage is unclear at this stage, but Rev Deirdre Parmenter, rural dean for the Stowmarket area, said: "It seems as if there is a continual round of destruction and repair, which is very wearing.


You may also want to watch:


"Worshippers are just dismayed and saddened that people can do this to any building, but especially a community building. Stowmarket's church tries hard to reach out to the community.

"It's particularly disappointing because we have had a long period of repair work on the windows which has just been completed.

Most Read

"The windows that were mainly attacked had been taken away for re-leading, mullions had been repaired. There had been a lot of work on them and a lot of money spent.

"I believe the repair work had been necessary because of earlier vandalism and we'd said we hope vandals don't come back again. It's very sad.''

The damaged panes include stained glass windows depicting religious scenes which have had holes left in them. It appears stones have been thrown at them.

Nick Clarke, spokesman for the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, said: "I'm told by Church experts that the windows are probably Victorian and came from a very good late Victorian period manufacturer from the 1870s. This appears to be a disgraceful act of vandalism.''

A spokeswoman for the charity shop confirmed their window had been damaged and said they have boarded it up, awaiting repairs.

Mike Nunn, police spokesman, said: "Nothing suggests that they are linked at this stage, but any act of vandalism is deplored by Suffolk Constabulary. It is particularly distressing when vandals attack such property as a church or charity store.''

Anyone with any information is urged to contact Suffolk Constabulary on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus