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Norfolk church's stained glass windows targeted by 'mindless' vandals

Vandalism to stained glass windows in St Andrew's Church, Holt. Pictures: St Andrew's Church, Holt

Vandalism to stained glass windows in St Andrew's Church, Holt. Pictures: St Andrew's Church, Holt

Archant

Thousands of pounds worth of damage has been caused to a Norfolk church by vandals.

Vandalism to stained glass windows in St Andrew's Church, Holt. Pictures: St Andrew's Church, HoltVandalism to stained glass windows in St Andrew's Church, Holt. Pictures: St Andrew's Church, Holt

Stained glass windows at St Andrew's Church in Holt were targeted between Sunday and Monday mornings.

A church spokesman said on social media: “A sad day! First time ever? An act of mindless vandalism to one of our beautiful stained glass windows. “Damage may cost thousands to repair. Police are aware. Anyone with any information please get in contact.”

Father Stephen Graham said: “I saw it at morning prayer.

“One of the churchwardens would have first seen it and reported it to the police.

St Andrew's Church in Holt.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSt Andrew's Church in Holt. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It's very sad. That window is probably the most special one in the church. It depicts scenes from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and I think it dates back to the first half of the 20th century.

“We don't normally have any problems with vandalism. It looks like someone has had three or four goes at throwing something at the window from outside the church.

“We've collected up the glass and put it in a container. Hopefully, some of it can be restored. It's very disappointing.”

Revd Canon Howard Stoker said it was the first time in his 20 years as rector of Holt with High Kelling that the parish church had been subject to an act of vandalism.

He said: “The damage to the stained glass window at the west end of the north aisle was noticed when the church was unlocked.

“It is sad to think someone should deliberately damage such a unique window which was designed by a well-known English stained glass designer Francis Spear (1902 – 1979) and gifted to the church by the Hales Family in honour of Robert Hales who died in 1931.

“The window illustrates scenes from the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer and is admired by many visitors. The cost of repair is likely to be considerable.”

The Grade 2* listed building was restored in 1727 following the great fire in Holt in 1708. William Butterfield further restored the building between 1862 and 1874.

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