VANDALS have repeatedly targeted a medieval Barry church causing added distress to the people attempting to serve the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Grade II-listed Merthyr Dyfan Church, in the Colcot, Barry, was targeted three times on Sunday, March 15, and Friday, March 20 with a further discovery on Sunday, March 22.

In April 2019, the church reported that it had been subjected to acts of vandalism four times within a month.

On those occasions, police officers confirmed they had received a report of a wall surrounding the parish church of St Dyfan and St Teilo, in Merthyr Dyfan, Barry, being targeted.

Three incidents, involving damage to the wall and a cross base, had previously been reported and a fundraising appeal launched to help repair the damage to the grade II-listed structure.

Father Ben Andrews said: “Last week three attempts to break into this historic church took place. On Sunday, March 15, it was discovered that the porch lock had been broken. On Friday 20 it was discovered that the tower window had been smashed and they attempted to force open the main door. On Sunday 22 we discovered they had removed the boarding to the broken window and gained access. Thankfully nothing was taken - just a mess.”

He added: “A break-in at any time is distressing, but during these particular trying times it has been all the more the harder. We are grateful to local walkers who have been reporting things to us. We are most grateful to South Wales Police for their prompt response and assistance. Thanks also to Mr Brian Hughes in helping to secure the building.”

A spokeswoman said: “South Wales Police is investigating a burglary at St Dyfan and St Teilo’s Church, Merthyr Dyfan Road, Barry, which occurred on Sunday March 22. The inside of the church was ransacked but nothing was stolen. Enquiries are ongoing to identify those responsible.

“This is the third attempt to break into this church. This is clearly an upsetting time for all connected to the church.”

She added: “We are appealing to anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area on Sunday, March 15, Friday, March 20 and Sunday, March 22 to contact us on 101 quoting ref 2000100147.”

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers free and anonymously on 0800 555 111.