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Family devastated after vandalism at Cirencester's Holy Trinity Church

A SPATE of vandalism has forced a church in Cirencester to close to the public and left a family devastated.


Holy Trinity Church in Watermoor Road is the latest target of vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the town with similar loutish acts reported at St Michael's Park just across the road in June.


As a result, the church is now locked between services.


Holy Trinity Church in Watermoor Road, Cirencester (Image: Camilla Foster)


Over the last month yobs have destroyed commemorative benches, damaged church property and sprayed fire extinguishers over the pews.


Police said vandals entered the building between 10am and 4pm on Saturday, July 15, ripping off the communion rail, snapping the vicar's staff in two and pulling a picture off the wall before discharging fire extinguishers.


Officers are appealing for witnesses and have asked anyone with information to fill in a form on the Gloucestershire police website quoting incident 349 of July 15.


The floor of the church after the vandals had discharged the fire extinguishers onto the pews

(Image: Cotswold Police)


Alison Love, associate vicar of the Parish of Cirencester with Watermoor, said: "We are all very sad about the vandalism at Holy Trinity Church and would like to say a huge thank you to the police and the local community for their support and kindness during this upsetting time.


"I would also like to thank the congregation at Holy Trinity Church for the wonderful way in which they have worked together to rectify the damage.


"We are taking advice from the police and are keeping the church locked in between services."


Sign outside the Holy Trinity Church in Watermoor, Cirencester (Image: Camilla Foster)


More incidents of vandalism have taken place outside the church in the garden of remembrance.


One devastated family feels helpless after a commemorative bench - bought in memory of beloved grandparents Monty and Peggy Lay - was destroyed.


The wooden bench has been in the garden since 1990, when Peggy died, and has provided a quiet place to reflect and grieve.


However, over the last few months it has been continually damaged, before being completely destroyed.


Grandson Chris Kelly shared images of the damage on Facebook, which led to more than 60 comments being posted.


Vandals kicked out wooden slacks out the back of Peggy and Monty's commemorative bench (Image: Chris Kelly)


arbara Lee, daughter of Monty and Peggy, was heartbroken when she saw what the vandals had done.


She said: "My parents wanted to be cremated, so the bench acted as a head stone and gave my grieving family somewhere to focus on.


"The vandals have kicked all the wood slacks out the back of the bench and it has been completely destroyed.


"Over time we have had to fix some small issues on the bench but the vandalism has got noticeably worse over the last few months.


"They have now started destroying the bench next to it.


What is left of Peggy and Monty's commemorative bench (Image: Chris Kelly)


Barbara Lee, daughter of Monty and Peggy, was heartbroken when she saw what the vandals had done.


She said: "My parents wanted to be cremated, so the bench acted as a head stone and gave my grieving family somewhere to focus on.


"The vandals have kicked all the wood slacks out the back of the bench and it has been completely destroyed.


"Over time we have had to fix some small issues on the bench but the vandalism has got noticeably worse over the last few months.


"They have now started destroying the bench next to it.


"It's a real shame because the church has invested so much time in opening up the garden and making it beautiful.


"I think it would make a world of difference if there was a constable available to patrol the area once in a while.


"My husband is also buried at the church and I thought that when I pass it would be lovely to have a bench for us but now I am not so sure.


"We are all devastated and are unsure of what to do next.


"My family are currently deciding whether it is worth the time, energy and money to get a new bench."


Source: wiltsglosstandard.co.uk

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