Vandals smash their way into Holy Trinity Church in Takeley
- Credit: Archant
Vandals smashed their way into a 12th century church in Takeley, in what the warden has described as a ‘brutal and violating’ act.
A man in his 70s, who tends the graves of his wife and son every morning, was said to have discovered the break-in at Holy Trinity Church, in Church Lane, on the morning of July 31.
The vandals had smashed a window at the north side of the building, leaving glass scattered amongst pews and up to the font, before entering and heading to the top of the belfry where they accessed the spire and removed a quantity of lead. Some of the lightening cable, which runs down the outside of the building, had also been pulled from the wall, but none was taken.
Church warden Alan Parkinson, who has only been in the role for six weeks, said: "I am not angry, I am just disappointed. You have got to look at it from a spiritual point of view. This is a 12th century church, look at all the people who have been christened here and married here, it means a lot to a lot of people. This break-in is a violation of their memories.
They have been quite brutal. To the people who go to this church it is a violation also. It is a quintessentially English church."
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He added: "These people are destroying British heritage, which is so important."
Mr Parkinson said the break-in most likely occurred in the early hours of July 31. At first, the vandals tried to gain entry by the locked door, before using a crowbar to remove the wire mesh, he believes. The window was not stained glass, as it had replaced another window which had been smashed in a break-in five years previously. A chip has also been left in the door, where the vandals attempted to gain access.
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The mesh has now been replaced and the window has been boarded up. Mr Parkinson also confirmed that the repairs will go through insurance.
A spokesman for Essex Police said: "At this time the enquiries are ongoing and we would ask anyone with information or CCTV footage to please get in touch via 101 or Crimestoppers."