Vandalism is ‘soul-destroying’, says vicar

Team Rector Jenny Hill and churchwarden Rosina Pocock show damage to St Paul's Church, Highfield

Team Rector Jenny Hill and churchwarden Rosina Pocock show damage to St Paul's Church, Highfield

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A vicar has branded an act of vandalism as ‘soul-destroying’ after two church windows were smashed with bricks.

The damage, which happened at St Paul’s Church in Highfield over the New Year period, will cost more than £400 to fix – and the windows concerned were only fitted six weeks ago.

Jenny Hill, team rector for the place of worship on Solway, Hemel Hempstead, said: “It’s just soul-destroying. When my church warden called me to tell me about the damage, she could have wept.

“It’s just wanton vandalism. We have spend a great deal of money in the past few years – I would say upwards of £20,000 – upgrading the building and making it a nicer place for the community to use.

“So it’s really sad when you have waited so long to raise the money to do the work, then some small-minded people ruin it for everyone.”

Though the building is insured, the cost of replacing the windows outright is slightly cheaper than paying the excess – but the church will still have to dip into its reserves to foot the repair bill.

The church hall is often used by community groups as a meeting venue, as well as for birthday parties.

Malcolm Taylor, a member of the congregation, posted about the damage on the town’s Hemel Hempstead Remembered Facebook page and was met with a flood of supportive responses.

The Slimming World group, which meets at the church hall each week, is now collecting donations to go towards the cost of replacing the windows.

To make a donation, please send it to Team Rector, The Rectory, High Street, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 3AE.