Spalding - St John WW2

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Reference WMO263280

Address:

St John the Baptist Church

Hawthorn Bank

Spalding Lincs

PE11 1JQ

England

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Status: On original site
Type: Non freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Attached to a building/structure
Description: Calvary
Materials:
  • Timber Timber (any)
Conflicts:
  • First World War (1914-1918)
  • 10th Century Wars
About the memorial: YOBS have vandalised a church war memorial by ripping the arms off a statue of Jesus Christ on the crucifix. Two youths were seen outside St John's church, Spalding, on Friday evening when they also attacked a notice board before running off along St John's Road. The war memorial, which was carved by a master craftsman soon after the First World War, had recently been restored by parishioner Ray Wright. Church rector the Rev Peter Garland described the incident as "mindless vandalism". He said: "This is upsetting, not only because they have damaged a nice wooden carving but it is also something many people hold dear as a memorial to those who died in two wars. "The most charitable thing I would say is that it is mindless vandalism. "Ray Wright has spent a lot of time restoring the memorial. It was in beautiful condition and all that work has been messed up. "The crucifix is also a sacred symbol. Jesus has been here and wounded on the cross before but desecrating a work of art that is also part of a war memorial shows God's children locally at their worst." The youths were seen outside the church at around 9pm when they smashed the glass in the notice board. They then moved on to attack the war memorial, which has stood outside the church for around 90 years. A resident living near the church saw what happened and tried to chase after them on his bike. "I don't know who they are or why they did it. "All I can assume is that they were very drunk when they did it. "Parishioners were upset to see it. One young man who came to a wedding rehearsal on the Saturday said he felt physically sick when he saw it." One of the arms was found on Saturday morning in a church flower bed by 91-year-old verger Bill Dade. It will be restored back to its rightful place by the same firm which built the memorial - Robert Thompson Craftsmen. The other arm was found yesterday (Monday) morning by Mr Dade in a gutter along St John's Road. Mr Garland described Mr Dade as ''a hero of the hour''. He said he had saved the church a lot of money by finding the arms. 10 August 2004
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