Irreplaceable church window smashed

By Lisa CleverdonVANDALS have smashed irreplaceable stained glass that has adorned a church for more than five centuries.The Flemish glass, which was shipped over from the Netherlands in the 16th century, was a much-loved feature of St Peter Church in Nowton, near Bury St Edmunds.

By Lisa Cleverdon

VANDALS have smashed irreplaceable stained glass that has adorned a church for more than five centuries.

The Flemish glass, which was shipped over from the Netherlands in the 16th century, was a much-loved feature of St Peter Church in Nowton, near Bury St Edmunds.

But now the window has been boarded up after it was damaged during a vandal attack last week and the clergy, churchwardens and congregation are hoping experts can repair it.


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The Rev Martin Thrower, who has been rector of the church for the past two years, said he had been left asking the why the historic church should have been targeted.

“There is a huge air of disappointment around the church now. The window has been a part of the church for hundreds of years and I can't understand why someone would wilfully go and demolish it,” he added.

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The smashed window was discovered on Friday evening by the church organist.

Two out of four roundels (round pictures) were completely destroyed and the whole window had to be removed.

Mr Thrower said: “The church is in a fairly rural location and the window is tucked away at the back of the building, so it would not have been difficult for someone to smash the window without being seen.

“Every roundel depicts a story from the Bible and they are totally irreplaceable. Nothing was taken from inside the church, although a lawnmower was stolen from a shed outside.

“A specialist window restorer has had to drive down from York to remove the window. We are just hoping that it can be restored, but it will take an awful lot of work and we will just have to wait and see what happens.”

The vandalism is being linked to an attack on another church, which happened at just before 5pm on the same day.

A man forced a door at the Baptist church in nearby Whepstead and stole a video player. He was then seen driving away from the church in a white Toyota van, which is thought to have had a lawnmower in the back.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “We treat all incidents of criminal damage and burglary very seriously and we will be investigating accordingly.

“It is particularly distressing that these offenders have targeted these churches and, in one case, caused damage to an irreplaceable stained glass window.”

Anyone with information should contact Suffolk police on 01284 774100.

lisa.cleverdon@eadt.co.uk

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