Vandals daub swear words inside Valleys church

DAMAGE: Some of the destruction at St Sannan's

DAMAGE: Some of the destruction at St Sannan's

Vandalism caused to St Sannan's Church, near, Bedwellty. Pictured is the Reverend Rosie Dymond (9465099)

Vandalism caused to St Sannan's Church, near, Bedwellty. Pictured is the Reverend Rosie Dymond (9465162)

Vandalism caused to St Sannan's Church, near, Bedwellty. Pictured is the Reverend Rosie Dymond (9465209)

Vandalism caused to St Sannan's Church, near, Bedwellty. (9465260)

First published in News
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AROUND £20,000-worth of damage has been inflicted on a Valleys church after intruders went after gardening equipment kept inside.

The 800-year-old St Sannan's Church in Bedwellty was ransacked last week when the thieves kicked down an oak door frame, smashed windows and daubed swear words on the walls of the bell-ringing room.

They even threw a book of the names of the dead onto the floor.

The aim appears to have been lawn mowers and leaf blowers stored in the church's cellar, said Peter Jones, 67, husband of Reverend Brenda Jones, 66.

The church was previous targeted by thieves who went after lead flashing on the roof.

A dog walker reported the break-in to the police, said Mr Jones, who married his wife at St Sannan's 45 years ago.

"They broke into the tower through an old oak door, and into the main bit of the church," said Mr Jones. "They completely broke the next door down and there was damage in the ringing room where the ropes are, obscenities written on the wall and the office desk.

"It had to be scratched and scrubbed off."

Next the vandals tipped over a memorial cabinet and book containing the names of the dead buried in the churchyard, threw hymn books and pushed over chairs, said Mr Jones.

Candlestick holders were used to smash intruder alarms on the walls and, upon finding that they could not get into the vestry, the burglars smashed a 200-year-old leaded glass window, said Mr Jones.

Once inside the intruders found the keys to the cellar where gardening equipment - bought following a previous break-in - was kept for the pensioners who tend the churchyard and graves.

The machinery was recovered by Gwent Police, said Mr Jones, who praised the officers as "outstanding".

"It will be an extensive job to repair the glass," said Mr Jones of the internal lead window.

"A rough estimate made last Wednesday night came to around £20,000 to repair everything. The door itself will come to thousands because it's oak. The insurance company will carry the cost but we will have to pay the excess and we do struggle to maintain the building.

"There was no need for the vandalism when they were just after the keys to the cellar," he said.

The Rector of Bedwellty, Reverend Rosie Dymond said Mr Jones and others have worked hard to clean up and get the church ready for this week's art exhibition, which runs all week as part of Caerphilly Arts Week.

"The church is there for everybody, we want it to be open for people and we are there to help people, we run a food bank and want people to feel they can ask for help," she said. "But you can't keep repairing a building at this kind of cost."

GWENT Police are appealing for information about the burglary which they believed happened between 9.55am last Monday, August 11, and 10.15pm on Wednesday, August 13.

Three boys, one aged 15 and two aged 16, and two 16 year old girls, all local, were arrested on suspicion of burglary and have been bailed pending further enquiries.

If you have any information that could help call Gwent Police on 101 quoting log 525 of 13/8/2014.

Comments (4)

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6:46pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

Disgusting behaviour - particularly the destruction of a window that's been there for two centuries and can never be replaced. Also a heart-breaking act to think that they'd desecrate the memory of people who've passed away like that. One day the person they love most in the world will be dead too and how would they feel to think of someone doing that to one of their own? That's if the people who cause such obscene destruction are capable of love, that is. What sort of people would do such a thing?!
Disgusting behaviour - particularly the destruction of a window that's been there for two centuries and can never be replaced. Also a heart-breaking act to think that they'd desecrate the memory of people who've passed away like that. One day the person they love most in the world will be dead too and how would they feel to think of someone doing that to one of their own? That's if the people who cause such obscene destruction are capable of love, that is. What sort of people would do such a thing?! Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 33

7:19pm Tue 19 Aug 14

jimmysmith says...

i have close family buried at Bedwelty .i sincerely hope that this feral scum responsible for this are caught and receive long jail sentences .But my gut feeling is if caught some legal aid funded barrister will spin some limp wristed judge the johnnies had a hard life story and they,l receive a caution and on your way mate .
i have close family buried at Bedwelty .i sincerely hope that this feral scum responsible for this are caught and receive long jail sentences .But my gut feeling is if caught some legal aid funded barrister will spin some limp wristed judge the johnnies had a hard life story and they,l receive a caution and on your way mate . jimmysmith
  • Score: 28

3:37pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Javez says...

I was in the church the following evening, rehearsing for my wedding on Saturday. Despite a sterling effort by volunteers to get the repairs done, you could still see some of the mindless damage done by these idiots. And that's what they were - they even took the foodbank collection and scattered it around the graveyards.

Luckily, my wedding went on without a hitch, and none of the guests could tell what had happened. This was pretty much down to the efforts of the church volunteers, who worked very hard indeed. I hope the church recovers fully as soon as possible - and the perpetrators are caught and have the book thrown at them.
I was in the church the following evening, rehearsing for my wedding on Saturday. Despite a sterling effort by volunteers to get the repairs done, you could still see some of the mindless damage done by these idiots. And that's what they were - they even took the foodbank collection and scattered it around the graveyards. Luckily, my wedding went on without a hitch, and none of the guests could tell what had happened. This was pretty much down to the efforts of the church volunteers, who worked very hard indeed. I hope the church recovers fully as soon as possible - and the perpetrators are caught and have the book thrown at them. Javez
  • Score: 8

11:55am Thu 21 Aug 14

terencecoop@gmail.com says...

I have family and friends buried there its a disgraced they got to be locals and also u can't say children this time hope u find them and deal with them give them what they deserve
I have family and friends buried there its a disgraced they got to be locals and also u can't say children this time hope u find them and deal with them give them what they deserve terencecoop@gmail.com
  • Score: 2
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