Parishioner hit by missile during church service in Chickenley

SOUL DESTROYING Caretaker Glyn Froggett starts repairs. (d534c426)
SOUL DESTROYING Caretaker Glyn Froggett starts repairs. (d534c426)

A congregation fears its church is at risk of closing as the cost of repairing “soul destroying” vandalism racks up.

Four windows at St Thomas More Catholic Church in Chickenley have been smashed in the past four months. They have been replaced by polycarbonate sheeting to save money.

During one incident, a parishioner was hit through the window, causing serious damage to her leg.

Church caretaker Glyn Froggett said: “This is getting too serious.”

Longtime parishioner Elaine Ward added: “It’s soul destroying.”

Mr Froggett said damage to the building had run into thousands of pounds.

“We are having a nightmare,” he said. “The church is my baby and to be repairing mindless vandalism is just frustrating.”

It is believed police know two children under 10 years old who are involved – but they are powerless to act as they are not old enough to be prosecuted.

Mr Froggett had to repair a smashed window in the front door less than 24 hours before 100 people were due at the church last Friday for its 60th anniversary celebrations.

He fears church authorities will refuse to pay out if the vandalism continues.

“It could be the final nail in the coffin,” Mr Froggett said.

Libby Walker, crime prevention officer for North Kirklees, said: “I will give every support to the church to ensure such incidents do not continue. Money is being spent to upgrade their security and we provide specialist advice for all churches.”