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Jesus's face in window is shot at with an air rifle

31 January 2014


A RECTOR in Somerset has poured cold water on suggestions that the vandalisation of stained-glass windows at one church was an attempt to desecrate the building.

Over the Christmas period, the Rector of The Wulfric Benefice, the Revd Michael Gallagher, discovered that some of the stained glass in St Bartholomew's, Crewkerne, had been smashed. In one of the windows, the face of Jesus had been shattered, which led some to suppose that the attack was a deliberate act of sacrilege.

But Mr Gallagher said that, as the vandalism happened in the dark, it must have been a coincidence that Jesus's face was hit.

"It must have been done at night, and I can't see how anyone would have been able to see an unlit stained-glass window," he said. "The church is open all day, every day, and we have never had any vandalism or damage at all by doing that. I think it must just be kids, or a drunk."

Mr Gallagher said that because he had found no stone or projectile inside the church, police believed the vandalism may have been caused by an air rifle. "St Bartholomew's is a Grade-I listed building, said to be in the top 100 churches in England," he said. The church's insurers will pay to repair the windows.

One of the churchwardens of St Bartholomew's, Dorothy Tozer, said: "We spent a lot of money last year to get the church a bit warmer for visitors, but the holes in the windows are not helping at all."


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