Holy tree van­dalised

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

LONDON: Bri­tish po­lice were search­ing yes­ter­day for van­dals who chopped down a thorn tree ven­er­ated for cen­turies by Chris­tians.

The Glas­ton­bury Holy Thorn Tree, said to have links to the ear­li­est days of Chris­tian­ity in Eng­land, has been re­duced to a 1.9m stump by van­dals who sawed off its limbs.

The des­e­cra­tion hap­pened the night af­ter a sprig from the tree was cut off in a cer­e­mony so it could be given to Queen El­iz­a­beth II to dec­o­rate her Christ­mas ta­ble, said Glas­ton­bury Mayor John Coles. He be­lieves the tra­di­tional cer­e­mony may have sparked a back­lash.

“Whether the per­son re­spon­si­ble for the deed saw the cer­e­mony on lo­cal tele­vi­sion or wit­nessed it, it’s rather a co­in­ci­dence that it was done that same night,” he said.

He could not say whether an in­di­vid­ual or a group was re­spon­si­ble.

Kather­ine Gorb­ing, the di­rec­tor of Glas­ton­bury Abbey, said there was some hope the tree would re­cover.

“We’re very hope­ful that it will grow back,” she said. – Sapa-AP

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