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Rev Chris Maclean: 'I will forgive thieves who smashed up Lydd church'

By Sean Axtell

A vicar will “forgive” the would-be-thieves who smashed their way into an historic church, causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage.

Armed with heavy pieces of masonry, crooks rammed through the partition wall of All Saints church, Lydd, before smashing up walls and furniture inside.

The suspects, who fled empty handed after leaving the trail of destruction on Sunday morning, are being hunted by police.

Rev Christopher Maclean
Rev Christopher Maclean

Reverend Chris Maclean said: “We believe they were looking for money, I don’t believe there was any malice there.

“If I were to meet them face to face I would want to sit down with them and discuss why they did what they did.

“I’m not suggesting I have some kind of divine powers. Do I forgive them? I would forgive them if they showed remorse.

“We don’t keep any valuables on the site. We did have £40 in the wall collection box but that was removed the evening before.

“They didn’t even take bottles of wine.”

Destruction at Lydd Church
Destruction at Lydd Church

A church warden, who discovered the carnage at the Church Road site at 8.30am, contacted Rev Maclean immediately.

He subsequently closed the church on Sunday morning for police to carry out forensics work.

Rev Maclean said he was saddened to see the damage and the criminals were likely looking for money.

He said: “It was very sad to see the damage that was caused.

Destruction at Lydd Church
Destruction at Lydd Church

“Churchwardens, ably assisted by a number of youths in the town, cleared up the mess and normal services were able to resume immediately.

“We think they must have been looking for money.”

Kent Police has been contacted for comment.

If you have any information about this crime, call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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