The congregation of Sleaford Methodist Church are faced with a spiralling repair bill as “mindless” vandals persist in damaging the building.
Police have been investigating and matters came to a head on Saturday when booze-fuelled yobs levered off the heavy coping stones along the top of the church car park wall, leaving them in a dangerous state littering smashed bottles close to a nursery and school.
Frustrated church steward Russ Mathieson described the vandalism as “mindless. He said: “Over the past year there has been vandalism to the church car park and building. The police have been investigating and we were advised to leave things to await developments and then this last weekend we have had wholesale vandalism where most of the coping stones have been removed. Each one weighs up to 100lbs and they managed to lift almost every one.
“It has cost us in the region of £5,000 in repairs this year and will cost another £200 per stone that needs to be replaced.”
He said the congregation were very upset but they could not ignore it because of the potential danger. He has been told that in a Conservation Area the church will have to pay to apply for planing consent to do the work, this time seeking to add railings to the top.
Neighbour Mandy Richardson called the police. She said: “In the early hours of Saturday morning I was woken by a large group of guys and girls, shouting and swearing, at 1.40am. They went up the road a little then back to the wall and began pushing the slabs off the top that had already been loosened previously. They moved off down Vicarage Court so I went back to bed.
“At about 2.10am I heard the slabs again and saw two men going along trying to lift each slab then walked away. When I went out later I was disgusted at the damage caused, worried about the safety of children and dogs and felt so sad for the owners and the original builders.
“I found glass over the path and road including the neck of a glass bottle and they’d also pulled out a complete plant from Vicarage Court. There’s so much damage been done.”
She and a neighbour swept up the glass but could not move the slabs.
Contact police on 101 with information.