Church window smashed for £10 collection

| October 5, 2010

THIEVES broke into a church in Ash by smashing a Victorian stained glass window before stealing collection money.

The Rev Keith Bristow, of St Peter’s Church in Ash Church Road, found a front window in pieces last Tuesday morning (September 28) and a collection bottle missing.

The incident happened between 2.30pm the day before and 9.15am on Tuesday, during which time the church was closed.

The hole in the window was big enough for a small person to climb through, Rev Bristow said.

“In the seven years I have been in my position here, I have never seen an act of vandalism like this,” he added.

“The church is held in high regard by the community and it is such as shame that this has happened.

“The vandal must have got in and out of the church through the broken window as the main church doors remained locked.

“I did not see any bricks or stones around the window when I came across the break-in, so I am unsure what was used [to break the glass].”

The lead window frame was pulled away and a perspex protective sheet over the glass was torn.

Inside the church, storage cupboards containing hymn books were also raided.

Rev Bristow estimated that there was about £10 worth of change in the stolen bottle.

The church, dating back to the 12th century, has a number of stained glass windows, which cost thousands to repair as very few companies make such designs anymore.

Rev said he would need to go through the church’s insurance and contact the Diocese of Guildford to organise the repairs.

All church services will continue as normal as a temporary wooden board has been put in place until new glass is fitted.

Young people are often seen congregating around the porch of the church, but this is the first time the building has been vandalised for some time. However, some graffiti was found on the premises a few months ago.

Surrey Police said: “Unknown offenders forced entry into the church by smashing the bottom half of a stained glass window and stole a glass bottle containing £10 in coins from inside.

"The damage to the window will cost an estimated £3,000 to repair.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the police on 0845 125 2222, quoting reference GD/10/9920.

Alternatively, information can be given to Crimestoppers anonymously and free of charge on 0800 555 111.

 

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2079489_church_window_smashed_for_10_collection

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