Warden of 12th-century Cannock church pleads with vandals to stop attacks

A 12th-century church in Staffordshire which had its window smashed last week has been subject to vandalism for the past four years, its warden has revealed.

Police have released CCTV footage. Image: Cannock Police
Police have released CCTV footage. Image: Cannock Police

Staffordshire Police has launched a CCTV appeal to trace two people who were seen on the premises on Sunday afternoon. The damage saw the windows smashed on a set of automatic doors at the building's entrance.

Janice Middleton, the church warden, said past incidents include other windows being damaged and graffiti being sprayed onto the walls.

The church is almost ancient with its first record in history being made in 1143. It was later enlarged in the 14th century and extended some 500 years later in the 1800s.

Nowadays it is equipped with roller shutters to prevent vandalism.

Speaking on the latest incident, Ms Middleton said: "The substantial vandalism to the automatic doors has had a financial impact on the church at this challenging time.

The broken window

"In the past four years, the church and church centre has incurred vandalism to many windows around the centre.

"This has resulted in roller shutters being installed and bad language sprayed onto the church walls.

"Although insurance is in place, the excess on the insurance policy has had to be paid and premiums are usually raised when claims are made."

She continued: "At present, the church is suffering from a loss of donations due to a drop in the number of people attending services.

"There is also a loss of income from the letting of the church centre. As we are not eligible for help from the local council - under the various schemes on offer to businesses - this has had a considerable impact on our finances.

"Before the onset of Covid-19, the church was hoping to install a much needed new boiler, as on many occasions during winter the boiler has failed to work, but this will now have to be put on hold."

She added: "My message to the people carrying out the vandalism is please think before you act. St Luke’s Church is a much-loved local landmark and the town would be a poorer place if it had to close."

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