Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Cathedral hit in vandalism raid

Guildford Cathedral
An engraved angel on the Great West Door was smashed

Vandals have caused thousands of pounds of damage in an overnight attack on Guildford Cathedral.

An "irreplaceable" etched glass door in the cathedral's main entrance was smashed and a fire was started during the early hours.

Surrey Police are investigating the "heinous crime", which they said "would cause upset across the community".

The Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Christopher Hill, described the damage as "sacrilege".

The Dean of Guildford, the Very Revd Victor Stock added: "The most damaging affect of this vandalism is on the John Hutton engraved angel on the Great West Door, an irreplaceable piece of 20th Century art."

Windows broken

The raid happened between midnight and 0545 GMT, when a cleaner discovered the damage at the Stag Hill site.

Windows in the refectory and double glazed windows and a door to the Diocesan Education Centre were also vandalised.

Paper was set alight and pushed through one of the broken windows at the conference unit, causing a chair seat to melt.

Insp Tim Shaw, from Surrey Police, said: "It is an isolated incident which will cause upset across the community. The damage to the etched glass in particular is a huge loss as it is irreplaceable.

"This sort of crime will not be tolerated at any place of worship in our neighbourhoods and I would urge anyone who has any information relating to this heinous crime to contact Surrey Police as soon as possible."

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In pictures: Guildford Cathedral vandalism
02 Dec 09 |  Religion & Ethics

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