Peaceful Easter for church after vandalism spree

Vandalism at St Mary and St Margaret Church in Sprowston. Reverend Simon Stokes. Pictures: Brittany

Reverend Simon Stokes at St Mary and St Margaret Church in Sprowston. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

A popular church enjoyed a productive and peaceful Easter weekend after a spate of vandalism had left the building in danger of being  locked up. 

St Mary and St Margaret's Church, in Sprowston, was targeted by yobs during a 10-day rampage from Sunday, April 3

The attacks included lobbing eggs, attempting to start fires, breaking into the kitchen and smashing up the organ. 

The vicar of the church, Revd Canon Simon Stokes said officials had considered closing the 800-year-old building if the vandalism continued.

But the community was able to enjoy the busy Easter weekend with no further disturbances.

Canon Simon Stokes

Canon Simon Stokes - Credit: submitted

Revd Stokes said: "From the church point of view it was completely peaceful and we are not aware of any further incidents. But I guess everyone is watching a bit closer.

"We were able to put on all our services as normal which is great because Easter is the most important service of the year. Without Easter, Christmas means nothing."

The church welcomed around 30 people to its Sunrise Service starting at 6am on Easter Sunday. 

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There was then a family communion and children's Easter Egg hunt from 9.30am, before parish communion at 10.30am. 

Police are investigating the vandalism which also included a door being damaged and offensive language being scrawled on paperwork. 

Reverend Simon Stokes at Sprowston's church

Reverend Simon Stokes at St Mary and St Margaret Church in Sprowston - Credit: Brittany Woodman

And Revd Stokes is heartened by the response to the attacks.

He said: "There have been some really fantastic phone calls and emails of support. I am really touched by the community's response.  

"I am quietly confident that there will be no further reports. I am always looking on the positive side.

"But I think it does make you concerned. We do not want a repeat of what has happened. The church is there for the community and is open so everyone can use it.

"We want to continue to be a place of peace where people can sit. We do not want a very small number preventing the wider community using it." 

Anyone with information on the vandalism should contact PC Graham Gill at Sprowston Police Station on 101 quoting crime reference 36/26790/22, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.