Reverend expresses forgiveness to young vandals who smashed Clipstone church windows

A reverend has expressed forgiveness to the young vandals who smashed the windows of a historic church.

The Reverend Ian Webb said the vandalism was ‘upsetting’ for the congregation when they found broken glass at The All Saints church in Clipstone on three separate occasions throughout March.

The All Saints church in Clipstone

The All Saints church in Clipstone

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After police caught the young perpetrators, two boys aged 10 and 13, they attended the church to apologise to Mr Webb, as well as the church’s treasurer and warden.

Mr Webb said the church is a precious community building, and the vandalism felt like a “desecration of a sacred space”.

He added: “This kind of behaviour is not acceptable, but the reduction in funding for youth services has lead to young people not having much to do.

“The church was paid for and built by the mining community here in Clipstone, so it is a community building for everybody.”

However, Mr Webb and other members of the church forgave the boys, and gave them the chance to apologise.

He added: “I shook hands with the boys, and told them about our practice of sharing the peace.

“It was a powerful moment.

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“The amount of grudges we see at funerals is sad - if we could all forgive each other, the world would be a much nicer place.”

The treasurer of the church explained the financial burden of the vandalism on the community to the youngsters, and they agreed to help out at a future church event.

In a true act of community, local business owners Paul and Kelly Wright generously paid for new windows for the church, as well as perspex protectors to prevent any future damage.

CCTV has also been installed at the church to deter future incidents after the equipment was donated by a local business.

Mr Webb added that he would like to thank the community of Clipstone for their support, and added that it shows how important the church is.

“It’s for the community,” he added - “It’s their church as much as anybody else’s, all are welcome.”