Vandals destroy Ilford church’s war memorial and smash image of Christ

Sick vandals have devastated an Ilford church leaving its war memorial smashed and taking “irreplaceable” Victorian silver candlesticks, brass plates and destroying a painting of Christ.

Vicar at St Mary The Virgin Church in High Road, Ilford, Fr Gareth Jones, said he believed the thugs had got through a small stained glass window – despite the church ramping up its security and installing iron bars after lead was stolen earlier this year.

The incident is thought to have taken place some time between Boxing Day evening and yesterday (December 28).

Fr Jones said: “We are insured but these items are irreplaceable. The Victorian plates and candlesticks were given to the church when it opened in 1831. The only thing we can do is find out if replicas can be made.”

A war memorial commemorating the dead from the First World War and Second World War, made of marble and wood, was taken off the church’s wall and smashed to pieces.

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Updates will be posted on the Recorder website as the story develops.

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