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By Tristan Harris Wednesday 03 September 2014 Updated: 04/09 21:17
THE CURATE of Bromsgrove's historic St John's Church has lambasted the 'childish vandals' who caused damage to the roof of the restored lych gate and inside the building.
And Rev Tom Atfield has vowed that those responsible will not force him or the volunteers to close the church which has been open during the day for the last four and a half years.
He told The Standard: "All churches should be open and accessible and we will not let childish vandalism stop that.
"Our churches are kept open by volunteers and it is disappointing for them that this has happened but it will not discourage them.
"We are very confident of keeping St John's welcoming and accessible to the whole community."
He added, with regard to the lych gate, people had spent a lot of time and effort funding and restoring what was a great monument for the whole of Bromsgrove.
"We have already had some wonderful offers of support from people offering their time or materials."
But, he said, the church had not yet fully assessed the damage and it was not yet known what needed doing.
West Mercia Police confirmed that between 2pm and 9.30pm on Saturday (August 31), damage was caused to the lych gate's tiled roof and some rocks were found nearby which officers believe were used to cause the damage.
Then at some point on Tuesday (September 2), from 9am to 3pm, when the church was open, a lid was removed from a poor box but, luckily, any money was in a secured concrete container inside. Other charity boxes had been accessed, papers had been strewn over the church and an offensive message had been written in the visitor's book.
Witnesses or anyone with any information on the incidents should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Revd Atfield said the church was always looking for more volunteers to help out in different roles in the church.
Anyone wanting to find out more should call the parish office on 01527 878801.
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