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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Brampton Church locked during day to stop vandals

THE doors of a historic Brampton church have been closed during daytime hours after vandals caused damage inside.

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Prayers: People gathered at St John’s Church in Hensingham last night to remember victims

Police have stepped-up patrols around St Martin’s Church on Front Street after it was reported that property had been defaced and a sticky substance – thought to be a fizzy drink – was spilled on the organ.

Graffiti was also carved into a plastic sign board.

It is thought that damage was caused by people entering the town centre church during the day.

Reverend Averyl Bradbrook said that the congregation had been saddened by the damage.

She told The Cumberland News: “We noticed the organ keys were a bit sticky and it seems a drink of some sort has been spilled on it.

“The cover was on the organ at the time but it has seeped through.”

Rev Bradbrook added that there had also been graffiti written on signs inside the church and a plastic sign was scratched.

She said: “We have decided to close the doors during the day because of the mess.

“Our biggest concern is the organ. It has recently been refurbished and it was sounding really wonderful.

“We have had to call those who refurbished it back in to help clean it up, I have no idea how much this is going to cost.”

She added: “The organ is very old and valuable and an important part of the heritage of the church.

“We are saddened by what has happened but we are dealing with it.”

A spokesman for Cumbria Police said crime prevention advice has been given to the church and local officers are now monitoring the situation. He said: “It is a shame if people are taking advantage of this community facility. We would urge people to respect the church property and to report any criminal or suspicious activity to police.”

Officers are also carrying out extra foot patrols around the property. The historic St Martin’s church is a popular sight with many people visiting to look at the stained-glass windows.

The church is famous as the only church designed by the Pre-Raphaelite architect Philip Webb. The stained glass windows were designed by artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones.

Anyone with information about the vandalism should contact Brampton police on 0845 33 00 247.

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