Vandals topple steeple of 116-year-old church in St. Phillips, N.L.

| April 1, 2010

ST. PHILLIP’S, N.L. — A 116-year-old church in Newfoundland is without its steeple after someone managed to topple it.

Residents of St. Philip’s woke up Wednesday morning to find the steeple of the town’s Anglican church lying on the ground.

The vandalism is the latest twist in an ongoing, emotional debate in the town near St. John’s over the fate of the historic building.

Town council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to deny an application by the Anglican diocese to demolish the church and use the land to expand its cemetery.

It appears the steeple’s support posts were cut during the night and a nylon rope was tied to a vehicle that pulled the structure to the ground.

A resident said he saw three men outside the church early in the morning and heard “construction-type” noises.

Town council held an emergency meeting Wednesday and voted unanimously to seek heritage designation for the old church and to offer a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest.

A new group called Church by the Sea is fighting to save the old church and transform it into a community heritage museum.

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Category: Church Security