A church community is facing the prospect of hosting its Christmas services against the backdrop of boarded-up windows after yobs vandalised the building.
Offenders smashed several stained glass window panes at St Mary the Virgin Church, in Higham Ferrers, during the night of Wednesday, October 24, leaving parishioners reeling after estimating the repair bill to be £31,000.
Tecla Smalley, assistant to the vicar at the church, said: “Nobody gains from this. They haven’t stole anything except a candlestick. It was 20 minutes of excitement for nothing.
“It’s upsetting for us as it’s not going to be fixed until after Christmas so people will have boarded-up windows to look at during our carols and service.”
The church’s Bede House was also targeted, with its windows smashed, while church books were found discarded and torn in a nearby bin.
The vandals also destroyed church windows which had memorials inscribed on them.
Parishioners had paid to have their loved ones on the windows, with tributes dating back to the 1920s.
Churchgoers are appealing for local photographs of the windows and the names of them, so they can be replaced.
Anna Saunston said: “Some of these people on the window might have family round here and will be upset to see it vandalised. These people are just mindless thugs, we’re all appalled.”
Anyone with pictures of the windows can call Anna on 01933 357212.