Church counting cost of vandal attack
VANDALS struck at a north Suffolk parish church at the weekend, causing more than £1,000 of damage.Worshippers attending services at St Mary's Church in Halesworth, on Sunday were shocked to see many of the windows smashed.
By David Lennard
VANDALS struck at a north Suffolk parish church at the weekend, causing more than £1,000 of damage.
Worshippers attending services at St Mary's Church in Halesworth, on Sunday were shocked to see many of the windows smashed.
At least six windows had glass panels smashed and some of the leaded frames were also broken.
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Churchwarden Ron Goodson said: "It is very upsetting to see so much damage.
"It was obvious that the windows had been broken from the outside of the building and there were large stones and bricks with the broken glass inside the church."
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Final estimates of the damage have still to be confirmed but it is believed it will cost more than £1,000 to repair all the windows.
Mr Goodson added: "There is no doubt we are looking well into a four-figure sum to enable the repairs to be carried out.
"I cannot understand why someone would want to attack a church in this way."
Halesworth police are appealing for information from anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area of the church.
The church stands in the very heart of the north Suffolk market town and is close to The Thoroughfare, Market Place and London Road.
Police officers believe the attack took place some time between Friday evening and Sunday morning.
Members of the church congregation think it most likely that the damage was done some time late on Saturday evening or during the early hours of Sunday.
"If the damage had been caused on Friday night I am sure that someone would have reported it on Saturday as the area around the church is very well used," said Mr Goodson.
"I am pretty confident that the windows were broken on Saturday night or very early on Sunday."
It is not believed that the damage was caused accidentally as windows all around the church building had been damaged.
A number of windows at the church are already protected from being attacked in this way as they are covered with metal grills.
Church leaders at St Mary's will now have to consider protecting all the windows with grills.
Previous acts of vandalism on the church and nearby area have also included windows being broken as well as graffiti daubed on walls.
The Nativity characters placed in the Arboretum beside the church have also been vandalised in the past which led to the colourful scene not being erected last Christmas.
n If anyone has any information about the latest vandalism attack on St Mary's Church they are asked to contact Halesworth police on 01986 835300.