Yobs as young as 12 in at­tack on church

LAMP SMASHED, BI­BLE BURNED AND CIG­A­RETTES SMOKED IN STOR­AGE ROOM

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Sam Len­non slen­non@thek­m­group.co.uk

YOUNG yobs have set fire to a Bi­ble, smashed a church’s lamp and lifted out its gates in a se­ries of attacks.

The chil­dren, thought to be as young as 12, have also bro­ken into the Rol­ven­den church store room to smoke cig­a­rettes.

Their ac­tions have been con­demned as “des­e­cra­tion” by the church­war­den and “de­spi­ca­ble” by the po­lice.

Now the church­war­den at St Mary the Vir­gin is de­mand­ing par­ents con­trol their chil­dren.

Richard Cole­man said: “They got in­side the church and set light to a page on the Bi­ble on the lectern.

“They just burned a corner of a page, but it is still des­e­cra­tion.

“I think half the trou­ble is the par­ents – they should con­trol their chil­dren.”

The church has been sub­ject to a se­ries of attacks and in­tru­sion over the past two weeks.

Twice they lifted a wooden side gate off its hinges and threw it into a hedge and then lifted off a front gate.

The gates have now been screwed down to pre­vent this hap­pen­ing again.

Then they smashed the glass from a Vic­to­rian lamp and broke into an old boiler room, now used for stor­age, to smoke cig­a­rettes.

They have left the room lit­tered with crisp pack­ets and soft drink cans.

A church no­tice on the door telling of times of ser­vices has also been burned. Mr Cole­man added: “The church is not locked dur­ing the day and it was be­cause of that that they got in and set fire to the page of the Bi­ble.”

“I think when these kids come home from school they are bored and wan­der over to the church­yard.”

The church has re­ported these in­ci­dents to po­lice, who are in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

An Ash­ford po­lice spokesman said: “We have re­ceived re­ports of sev­eral in­ci­dents at Rol­ven­den church.

“Of­fi­cers who have dealt with these in­ci­dents have de­scribed them as de­spi­ca­ble.

“Po­lice are con­tin­u­ing with their in­quiries to find out who is re­spon­si­ble.”

The smashed lamp in the church­yard

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