Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

We Need More Than Prayers to Keep the Vandals Away

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

We Need More Than Prayers to Keep the Vandals Away

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Morgan

A vandal-plagued Teesside church is spending thousands of pounds to keep the thugs out and protect its historic building and churchyard.

Firstly, Grade II-listed St Leonard's Church, on Water Lane, Loftus, was plagued with stone throwers and air gun yobs who damaged the church's attractive stained glass windows.

Then the vandals began gathering in the churchyard indulging in under-age drinking, smashing bottles, damaging old gravestones and littering the area with rubbish and used condoms.

Now church authorities have taken action - but at a cost of pounds 13,000.

First pounds 8,000 was spent on grill protection for the windows.

And another pounds 5,000 of church funds have been used to block a gateway on the church's western boundary and extend railings around the churchyard.

Redcar and Cleveland Council planners have now agreed a plan which will also see railings erected and a gate reinstated at the north east corner of the church and railings erected along the eastern boundary. …

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