Community rallies together to clean up church after 'mindless' vandalism
- Credit: Grazyna Tutak
Volunteers from far and wide came to help after a church near Ashwell was vandalised last week.
Vandals caused significant damage at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Caldecote on Thursday afternoon. They smashed windows, let off powder fire extinguishers all over the church's interior, smashed decorations and threw bleach over the floor and altar.
The church had to be closed over the weekend, but should be able to reopen sooner than expected thanks to help from the community.
Church spokesperson Grazyna Tutak said: "It was just a stupid, mindless piece of vandalism."
Following the damage, the church put out an appeal for people to help with the clean up, and was met with an "overwhelming" response from volunteers who wanted to help.
Grazyna said: "Throughout Sunday groups of strangers kept turning up with gloves and buckets. One couple arrived from somewhere in Kent. The response has been absolutely phenomenal.
"In no time at all the worst of the fire extinguisher dust had been cleared and the church looks almost back to normal! We managed to get hold of an industrial hoover which sucked up everything beautifully.
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"When I went into the church on Sunday afternoon the transformation was absolutely amazing. The cleaning operation is continuing and the next step is to use beeswax on all the surfaces to polish them up.
"We have been completely overwhelmed with the response and want to thank all of you who turned up and who left messages of support from the bottom of our hearts. What we thought would take weeks has been done in the past few days.
"It's so humbling that people from far away offered to help."
The church only reopened 10 days prior to the incident, after being closed for repairs for nine months.
Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the vandalism or who has any information to come forward.
PC Mark Ellwood said: "We are investigating significant, mindless criminal damage at St Mary Magdalene Church in Caldecote Road, that was caused sometime between 4.30pm and 9pm on Thursday, July 29.
“If you were in the area and saw anyone acting suspiciously, please call 101 quoting reference 41/58224/21.”