Vandals have caused repeated and extensive damage to leaded windows at All Saints church in Sidley.
Church warden Helen Bridger believes that kids messing about repeatedly with footballs have intentionally ruined some of the windows and in the process run up a repair bill that will cost the church some £3,000.
She and other church members are “disappointed and angry” at what they describe “mindless vandalism” to a much loved historic building in Sidley which has already been a target for this type of crime.
The current damage includes broken glass panes and bowed-in lead and the front door is also boarded up as panes have been broken.
“It is the same children doing it,” said Helen, “I am convinced of that.
“In the past we have been so pleased with the support we have had, but this is not a rich area, and we do struggle to pay what we have to pay to the diocese. Something like this is an additional burden to us. The congregation here has been brilliant because for three years we haven’t had a priest, but we have gone from strength to strength, with our toddlers grup, our fundraising and even our panto.
“And then this happens. It is mindless, absolutely mindless vandalism. I don’t know what possesses them to do this. We don’t want to appear as victims here, because we are keeping going and our faith is going strong, but we want people to realise how Sidley still struggles - the whole of Sidley struggles. One lady who came to a coffee morning was in tears when I told her about this. She said - how could they do that to the church? It does affect people badly. But people just need to realise the church is there for them, it is there for everybody in Sidley.”
Helen has reported the damage to Sussex Police and is hoping for an end to the problem as soon as possible.