Plea to the community after 'mindless' vandalism at Batley's oldest church

A congregation left heartbroken after the mindless vandalism of their church is appealing to the Batley community for help to recover its losses.

Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 2:07 pm
Part of a stained glass window was smashed through by vandals.

Batley Parish Church was attacked last week with damage caused to several windows, including a 100-year-old stained glass window that could cost thousands of pounds to repair.

Worshippers arriving at the church last Sunday also found the building’s boiler damaged and taps deliberately left on, causing water damage to one of the rooms.

The scale of the damage has inspired congregation member Graeme Rayner to take to the internet in an attempt to raise £1,000 towards the costs.

Batley Parish Church

Graeme recently raised £1,000 after the Batley Community Centre was burgled and described setting up a new fundraising page as ‘a no-brainer’.

He said: “It was the stained glass window really - it’s a piece of the churches history.

“Times are hard, the church offers a valuable service to the community, as well as offering a home to Batley Community Choir, who rent the space at very modest rates, and Peer Talk, who help those with mental health issues.

“I got married there, any my kids were baptised there. I just thought I’d see if we could raise a few quid.”

Churchwarden Richard Martin said the vandalism was “hugely frustrating”, but that the strength of spirit in the congregation would see them through.

"We've got grills up on the windows having suffered vandalism before," he said, "but whoever has done this has obviously managed to poke something through the holes to break the glass.

"It is mindless. We're not sure how much it will all cost yet - some of these things are covered by insurance of course, some not so.

"It's great to hear that Graeme has chosen to help us out in this way. We're very grateful."

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