Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Frinton: Vicar vows to keep church open despite vandalism

14:00 09 January 2014

Rev Don Smith is keeping the doors of Frinton Parish Old Church open despite it being vandalised on New Year

Rev Don Smith is keeping the doors of Frinton Parish Old Church open despite it being vandalised on New Year's Day.

A vicar has vowed to keep his church door open for worshippers despite vandals ransacking the inside of the building.

shares

A cabinet was smashed, pews damaged, prayer and hymn books ripped up and two fire extinguishers let off inside St Mary’s Old Parish Church in Frinton, on New Year’s Day.

But Rev Don Smith says he will not contemplate locking the unattended church, which stands on a site where a place of worship has existed for the past 1,000 years.

“We keep the church open from dawn to dusk and we are determined to keep this as an open place of worship,” he said.

“It would be terrible if we had to close it because of something like this and we shall keep it open.”

According to Mr Smith, the church warden discovered the damage late on News Year’s Day. It is believed the perpetrators entered the church in Old Road some time between 9am and 5pm on January 1.

He said: “The church warden found the mess. The worst damage was to a cabinet which had been kicked in, presumably because they were looking for something valuable.

“There is nothing of value kept in the church and I suppose when they couldn’t find anything they decided to vandalise things.

“It’s not a place you’d think people would come looking for something valuable – there are only some pews and a few books in here.

“I’ve been here five years and nothing like this has happened before.”

He added: “It’s upsetting that some people have such a low regard for a place of worship in today’s society.

“However, we are determined to keep a place of open worship in Frinton.”

The town’s mayor, Iris Johnson, said she was “very disappointed” to hear the news and said she would be contacting both Mr Smith and the police to see if anything could be done to prevent similar incidents in the future.

She added: “We mustn’t let the vandals win. Why anyone would want to smash up a church is beyond me.

“People visit churches for a host of reasons – they are places of peace and quiet, and of historical interest. It is important that they remain accessible to people.

Essex Police say they would like to hear from anyone with information about the vandals responsible for the damage.

Anyone who saw any suspicious behaviour in the area or who has any other information about the vandalism is asked to call Pc Rob Cubberley, at Harwich Police Station, on 101, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

shares

0 comments

Seth and Eliza Gaw loved Latitude but planning was key, says dad Matt Gaw

With the mounting costs of family holidays, events like Latitude can be a genuine alternative to a traditional bucket and spade break.

The coffin of Stuart Cullen is carried from the RAF C-17 at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

The body of Suffolk man Stuart Cullen, one of 38 people killed in the Tunisian terror attack, has been returned to Britain today.

The incident happened on the A12

A lane on the A12 at the Foxhall roundabout near Martlesham was blocked following a three-vehicle crash.

Bolts of lightning during the storms above Ipswich in the early hours of Saturday, pictured by Tina Boniface

Fierce lightning storms swept over Suffolk and Essex last night.

John McGuire

A 25-year-old man who went missing from a mental health unit in Colchester has been found safe and well.

A broken down train has blocked the Marks Tey to Sudbury route

A broken down train has forced services between Sudbury and Marks Tey to be suspended – with delays expected for the rest of the day.

National Lottery winners pictured helping out on a build at Black Notley Community Association in Braintree, Essex. Pictured are the team working hard in the sunshine to complete the job.

Lottery winners with a combined worth of £25million mucked in to help create a holiday haven in Black Notley.

Suffolk county councillor Lisa Chambers

More than 90% of parents in Suffolk have had their first-choice places accepted for their children starting school this September, it has been revealed.

Abellio Greater Anglia

Train services have returned to normal between Ipswich and Felixstowe this evening following problems caused by a broken down train.

Hundreds of families gathered at Portman Road to watch the outdoor screening of Frozen.

Portman Road was transformed to a world of snowflakes and ice despite the 26C (78.8F) sunshine this morning.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages