St Patrick’s Church in Patrington has been forced to close to the public indefinitely after it was vandalised by youths.
On Saturday, September 29, at around 5.20pm, a group of children were witnessed around the village and are reported to have broken into the church, causing damage to the door and the lychgate within the grounds. Souvenir pens that were for sale were stolen, and a fire extinguisher was also taken.
As a result of the damage, members of the church have made the decision to close it to the public until the matter has been dealt with by the relevant authorities to prevent any further damage. However, the church will still host its regular Sunday services.
The closure of the church has caused concern among Patrington residents who regularly use the space to host events and exhibitions. The church, known as the Queen of Holderness, is also a popular tourist attraction.
Parish councillor Helen Murphy said: “People don’t just use the church for religious purposes, it’s a place of historical interest which is very precious because it’s such an amazing building. It takes a lot of money to maintain, and this is raised by hard-working volunteers.
“It is also a place of sanctuary where you can escape from day-to-day life. I was talking to a lady this morning who had cycled from Hull, which she does on a regular basis, just to visit the church. Many people are very disappointed and angry that such a treasured asset to our village has been subject to such mindless vandalism.”
Some residents also fear that the vandalism may spread to other areas of the village, and impact on other businesses and properties.
In recent years, resident Gareth Walker has been continuously adding to a display of Remembrance by creating silhouettes of soldiers and placing them across the village.
He is also the man behind the thousands of poppies that appear throughout the village’s grassed spaces every November.
However, with the Remembrance commemorations set to start later this month and culminate in November, Gareth said he was reluctant to put out this year’s display.
He said: “I’m concerned that with the recent acts of antisocial behaviour and damage to the church that any poppy or soldier displays that I put out in the village may end up being targeted, vandalised or stolen.”
A spokesman from Humberside Police said: “Officers are conducting lines of inquiry following a reported burglary at St Patrick’s Church in Patrington on Saturday, September 29.
“Damage was reportedly caused to a door and entry gained by a group of youths at around 5.20pm.
“Anybody with any information can contact us on our non-emergency number 101 quoting investigation reference 23*139800.”