A STAINED glass window has been broken at a church plagued by vandalism.
Damage has been caused to the Victorian Nunc Dimittis window at St John the Baptist Church, by Grosvenor Park.
The Rector of Chester, Rev David Chesters, said: “It’s pure vandalism just like the kids who climb over St John’s ruins. It’s just as bad at the amphitheatre where the children climb all over it.”
But Rev Chesters cannot be absolutely sure whether the window, which overlooks the gardens at the rear, has been broken deliberately or by youngsters playing football.
“When I’ve seen them playing football, I’ve said: ‘For goodness sake, go and play in the park’. We have had some windows broken due to football. There was no criminal intent in those cases but it cost a lot of money to put it back.”
Rev Chesters is waiting to find out how much it will cost to repair the latest window to be broken so he can claim on the insurance. Ideally, he would like to cover all the windows with protective polycarbonate transparent screens.
St John the Baptist Church is a Grade I listed building – and part of a scheduled ancient monument – but this has not deterred yobs who have previously damaged its great east window by throwing stones, removed slates from the roof and smashed flood lights.
Security measures including CCTV and anti-climb paint are in use but Rev Chesters does not wish to turn the church into a fortress.
Rather he wants to encourage more visitors to the church which was Chester’s first cathedral.
That’s why work has been ongoing to repair the stonework and prune trees. Future projects include installing a new sound system and modern heating. An architectural lighting scheme is being developed to project medieval texts and different languages onto the building.