Vandal smashes 200-year-old statues at Islington church
PUBLISHED: 13:07 04 July 2015
A “disturbed” vandal caused significant damage to several 200-year-old statues at a Catholic church in Islington.
The callous crook snook into St John the Evangelist Church in Duncan Terrace on the afternoon of Monday, June 22, toppling over the life-size antique statues, one of which depicting St John himself, as well as breaking off the top of the lectern.
The villain fled when he was caught in the act by one of the priests at the church.
The main body of the church has been closed off indefinitely since the incident.
Informing the congregation in the parish newsletter, Mgr Séamus O’Boyle, wrote: “By now you will have noticed that most of our statues are missing from the Church. Last Monday afternoon a very disturbed individual came into the Church and purposefully toppled them smashing them to the floor.
“He also broke off the top of the lectern. The Police were informed immediately and given a good description of the man.
“Hopefully our insurance will cover the cost of repairing/replacing the statues and lectern.”
Church goers have expressed their shock at incident inside the place of worship.
Rosie Ward, who regularly attends mass, said: “This looked like intentional destruction of our beautiful church.
“These amazing statues of the saints were over 200 years old. This is devastating.”
Islington police are investigating the incident and have asked anyone with information to call them on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said it was particularly shocking that someone would want to cause such destruction inside a place of worship.
“It’s disturbing that something like this can happen in a church,” he said.
“Even in a time when there seems to be an increasingly significant number of people with no respect for anything or anybody there’s still this aura of respect around church.
“There’s a big taboo about being abusive or aggressive in places of worship. It makes it all the more shocking.”