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Supporters raise more than £600 after 'painful descration' of Bishop's Stortford church

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An appeal to raise cash to fund repairs at St Michael’s Church in Bishop’s Stortford after it was ransacked and vandalised by burglars has already generated more than £600.

The intruders struck on February 20 and left a trail of destruction, including smashing a stained glass window in the south porch which dates from the 15th century. It commemorates St Botolph, one of the earliest and most revered of East Anglian saints, known as the patron saint of wayfarers.

The burglars also caused extensive damage to an ancient door and wrecked two crucifixes after wrenching them from altars. Silver items were taken.

The vicar, Reverend Derwyn Williams, described the break-in-in as a “painful desecration”. However, he said: “Our congregation and community has truly come together in a really positive way following this shocking event.

“Two people have been arrested in connection with the break-in and are on police bail. The property that was stolen has been recovered and is with the police as evidence.

“Repairing the extensive damage is the main current focus. Estimates are being gathered and plans made in liaison with our architect, our insurers and the diocese. Please pray for this work to be as swift and uncomplicated as possible.

“We anticipate that insurance will cover most of the costs involved. But there will be an excess to pay. And it may be that some repairs turn out not to be ‘like for like’ but enhance security in some way, in which case we may bear some additional cost to do this.”

The Go Fund Me page has been set up by parishioner Nicola Wood with a target of £2,000 https://www.gofundme.com/fjw3sz-breakin-at-st-michaels-church

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