Campaign raises £2,000 after gravestone stolen and churchyard desecrated in St Michael's on Wyre

A crowfunding campaign set up after a gravestone and paving was stolen from a Wyre churchyard has raised more that £2,000

Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 7:00 am

The community in St Michael's on Wyre was left shocked after thieves stole a gravestone from the village's church and ripped up flagstones from the path.

The incident happened overnight on Thursday, August 13 and the gravestone, described as old, was partly smashed while being taken.

Karen Ball, the Licensed Lay Minister at the church, set up the JustGiving page to replace the stolen items and also boost security at the Anglican church.

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Callous theives struck at the church earlier this month

Following the despicable crime, she said: "Along with the path there has also been damage to and theft of one of the old gravestones near to the section of path that was taken.

"Whilst we don't seek to judge or blame others for their actions we want to take some positive steps towards not only the restoration and repair of the churchyard to make it a safe and beautiful place for you to visit once again but also to enhance security measures at Church which has fallen victim of other thefts in past years too.

"We have been most touched by the messages of compassion that have been sent to us by many of not only our local community but those from further afield as well and want to thank you all for your support at this time."

Karen originally set a target of £1,000 but after two weeks more than £2,000 has been raised.

She said on the JustGiving Page: "I can't believe that shortly after raising the total you beat it already. We aren't going to keep updating the total amount needed because we truly have no idea how much is going to actually be needed in order to fully repair the damage done due to having comply with English Heritage specifications.

"Contact has been made with English Heritage and it is looking like it is going to be more costly than we did initially think. Any small amount you can donate is honestly truly appreciated."

The late Medieval church has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building.

Anyone who wants to donate to the fund can do so here.If anyone has any information about the thefts they should call Lancashire Police on 101 or independent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111