Thieves and vandals target ancient Barry church
11:10am Thursday 6th September 2012 in News
A BARRY minister is urging residents to watch over one of the town’s most ancient churches - following repeated attacks by callous vandals and thieves.
Reverend Robert Parrish, Rector of Merthyr Dyfan, made his plea after the isolated place of worship was targeted, causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage, on Saturday (September 1).
Intruders tried to gain access by breaking the porch lock and vandalising the old oak door leading into the 13th century church. Police are also investigating after lead flashing was stolen from the church, as well as an external light, some time between midnight on August 19 and 2pm on August 22.
In that instance the thieves gained access to the lower roof and removed the flashing, which caused further damage to the historic building.
Rev Robert is appealing to anyone who walks their dog, or perhaps jogs near the church, to keep watch for vandals and thieves. "We are a small, elderly congregation trying our best to keep our beautiful, ancient church in good condition so that it can be enjoyed by everyone - churchgoers and non-churchgoers alike,” he said.
"To anyone contemplating breaking into the church, we would point out that nothing of value is kept in it, so you will be wasting your time.
"We don't have large pots of money to repair it with and we have to pay for most of the repairs before the insurance kicks in," he added. "But there will come a point when we will not be able to keep the church in decent condition.
"Most acts of vandalism cost us hundreds of pounds to put right, sometimes a lot more, and this is on top of the costs caused by the ravages of nature,” said Rev Robert.
"It is very disheartening to come to church and find that it has been vandalised again, when we have only just repaired the damage done by the last lot. "It is an ongoing problem - has been for years,” he added.
"I would remind those who have vandalised the churchyard that it contains the graves not just of people buried decades ago, but of people who have been buried very recently. "By vandalising graves and the churchyard, you are causing distress to people who are already suffering bereavement."
Anyone wishing to see the inside of the church can attend the 8.45am service on Sundays or visit after the service has ended at 9.30am.
Anyone with information on the thefts and vandalism should call Barry Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.