Church leaders and members in Whaley Bridge have expressed horror over the vandalism attack on Whaley Hall, where a crucifix statue was smashed and a consecrated burial site desecrated.
In a message of support to Father Jamie McLeod and the Rev David Hall at the religious retreat and conference centre, the Rev Michael Peat from Churches Together in Whaley Bridge, said:
“I am horrified – it’s disappointing that people could do a thing like this without thinking of the consequences.”
From the Church of England, the Rev Janet Parker, rural dean for the area said: “I find it difficult to understand why anyone would want to do anything like that.” The Rev Janet had been in Whaley Bridge to celebrate communion at Holy Trinity church on Ascension Day.
Police enquiries are still going on into the outrage, which apparently happened in the hours of Sunday 6 May at the hall, also known as the Community of Love. Later that morning heavy gates into the estate were found to have been lifted off their hinges and hurled into a nearby garden.
Members of the community spent most of the day re-installing the gates, unaware that the 5ft crucifix, mounted on a 12ft cross, as well as the burial area had been attacked. It was not until evening that the full scale of the crime became apparent.
Father Jamie said: “This is desecration of a consecrated burial site. I feel the Christian faith has been targeted.” The Rev David Hall added: ” The work here has always been to offer reconciliation, peace, unity and diversity – I hope that work will continue,”
- Police have asked anyone with information to contact PC Andrew Crosthwaite on the non-emergency number 101. You can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.