September 6th, 2016

Fears of vandalism campaign after acid-like substance damages part of Guild Chapel

Updated: 10:15 am, Jul 03, 2015

FEARS have been raised over a possible campaign of vandalism against Stratford’s historic Guild Chapel.

It follows the third and most serious attack in as many months on the 750 year-old chapel located on the corner of Church Street and Chapel Lane.

The latest attack happened sometime on Friday June 26 when vandals threw some form of corrosive liquid on benches, lights and the wall causing some £20,000 worth of damage.

They also ruined a plaque unveiled last year by Prince Charles to celebrate the installation of a new organ and £250,000 worth of restoration.

A member of the Friends of the Guild Chapel group discovered the damage early the following morning.

Experts will need to be called in to carry out repairs, including to benches dating back to when the chapel was built in 1269.

Previous attacks have seen a noticeboard broken and a ceremonial mace snapped in two.

It prompted Helen Munro, Chief Executive of Stratford Town Trust – custodians of the chapel – to question the motives behind the attacks.

She told The Observer: “I’m concerned about whether it is people hitting out against Christians or whether it is just mindless vandals.

“The £20,000 needed to repair the damage is such a lot after the money we have recently paid to make the chapel look so nice.

“It’s very disappointing that something like this can happen in a town as beautiful town as Stratford.

The Town Trust is considering installing CCTV in the building which is one of the oldest in Stratford, but remains a place of worship, with Holy Communion being held every Wednesday morning.

The chapel is home to some celebrated medieval wall paintings, including Doom, one of the largest surviving frescoes of its kind in Britain.

The chapel fell into disrepair over a number of centuries until the Friends of the Guild Chapel was established in 1954.

It has since been restored to its former glory, and in 2001 its care was transferred to Stratford Town Trust.

It has recently undergone repairs to damaged floor tiles and windows as well as work on the roof.

A spokeswoman for Warwickshire Police said: “We can confirm the damage happened on Friday (June 26) between 11.30am.

“An acid type substance was thrown over walls, benches and light fittings causing substantial damage.

“The mayor’s mace was also ripped from wall and damaged.  “There is no CCTV available so we are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to contact police on 101.”

 

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