Historic Christ statue in Palmerston Road, Walthamstow, vandalised

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: The damaged statue of Christ. The damaged statue of Christ.

A vicar has expressed dismay after a statue of Christ thought to be more than 100 years old was vandalised outside his church.


The plaster-based figure, on Palmerston Road next to St Michael and All Angels in Northcote Road, Walthamstow, was discovered smashed up on the morning of Sunday before last.


It is the second time in recent years that the statue has been targeted. Six years ago it was smashed in a similar manner, but the church raised £2,000 to repair it.


Father Alex Summers, who joined the church four months ago, said: “It's tragic. We don't really know when it happened, how or why.


“But obviously it's mindless vandalism of something which is very important to people, not just those who worship here.


“It's a real symbol of devotion for a lot of people. Often you'll see people stopping by it to cross themselves before walking on.


“It does affect people when a religious site is attacked in this way, whether it be a church, mosque or synagogue. We think the police will be treating it as a hate crime.
 

“We are hoping it can be repaired.”


He added that some residents had already started making donations to the church, although hopefully most of the costs will be covered by insurance.


He said: “It has been comforting to see how much the church means to people in the community. Only the other day a man came in and gave us £20 towards the repairs.”

The statue is believed to date back to Victorian or Edwardian times and has long been admired by residents as a mini local landmark.


Bob Wheatley, 86, has lived in Palmerston Road for more than 50 years.
He said: “It's absolutely disgusting.


“I'm not strongly religious myself but I've always admired the statue and the church.


“It really is a tragedy that this has happened again”.

The Guardian is awaiting a comment from police.


 

Comments (10)

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11:12am Mon 4 Feb 13

E17006 says...

No picture?
No picture? E17006

12:34pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

When the UK Government does nothing hardly to protect the Christian Faith, it is subjected to ridicule in the media and TV whilst zealously encouraging embracement of other religions is this really a surprise.

Any hint at satire or comedy against some other religions lead to disproportionate reactions and responses.

People are being sacked and disciplined for wearing a cross around their neck whilst others are allowed to work with their faces covered.

Had this been a desecration of some other religions artifact there would be mass protesting, the Police would highlight tensions and mount a full investigation.

This is only an antique crucifix so they will probably just write it off as a bit of criminal damage.
When the UK Government does nothing hardly to protect the Christian Faith, it is subjected to ridicule in the media and TV whilst zealously encouraging embracement of other religions is this really a surprise. Any hint at satire or comedy against some other religions lead to disproportionate reactions and responses. People are being sacked and disciplined for wearing a cross around their neck whilst others are allowed to work with their faces covered. Had this been a desecration of some other religions artifact there would be mass protesting, the Police would highlight tensions and mount a full investigation. This is only an antique crucifix so they will probably just write it off as a bit of criminal damage. Cornbeefur

12:39pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Techno3 says...

What makes the vicar assume this is mindless? The person or people who did this could well have a very specific and deliberated upon reason why they have done this.
What makes the vicar assume this is mindless? The person or people who did this could well have a very specific and deliberated upon reason why they have done this. Techno3

2:14pm Mon 4 Feb 13

bhrE17 says...

Someone had obviously hit it with something very heavy and caved the statue's face and chest in...........disgust
ing behaviour!!
Someone had obviously hit it with something very heavy and caved the statue's face and chest in...........disgust ing behaviour!! bhrE17

4:50pm Mon 4 Feb 13

ColinOrient says...

It is just vile that we now live in a country that fails to protect anything linked to Christianity. Like some of the earlier comments have implied, had this been something from certain other faiths damaged like this, a major enquiry would have begun. Sadly now it seems that anything Christian or English is allowed to be ruined or ridiculed.
It is just vile that we now live in a country that fails to protect anything linked to Christianity. Like some of the earlier comments have implied, had this been something from certain other faiths damaged like this, a major enquiry would have begun. Sadly now it seems that anything Christian or English is allowed to be ruined or ridiculed. ColinOrient

11:25pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Sam Hain says...

I don't think it's necessarily incumbent on the country to protect anything linked to Christianity, no, ColinOrient. Of course this is totally unacceptable vandalism and I hope the perpetrators are caught and punished (or forgiven, which would be the Christian way) but surely, in this day-and-age, if the church is going to spend £2000 on repairing this artefact every time it's damaged it might be a sensible precaution to place it behind a toughened glass screen. After all, every pound spent repairing vandalism of this kind is money not being spent on the poor - as I understood it the Church's mission.
I don't think it's necessarily incumbent on the country to protect anything linked to Christianity, no, ColinOrient. Of course this is totally unacceptable vandalism and I hope the perpetrators are caught and punished (or forgiven, which would be the Christian way) but surely, in this day-and-age, if the church is going to spend £2000 on repairing this artefact every time it's damaged it might be a sensible precaution to place it behind a toughened glass screen. After all, every pound spent repairing vandalism of this kind is money not being spent on the poor - as I understood it the Church's mission. Sam Hain

11:18am Tue 5 Feb 13

HottRedMan says...

It is true in this country that it is ok or the norm to be allowed to disregard christianity, but when it comes to other religions, It is taken seriously.
It clearly is mindless vandalism, imo there is no juristicion for vandalism.
It is true in this country that it is ok or the norm to be allowed to disregard christianity, but when it comes to other religions, It is taken seriously. It clearly is mindless vandalism, imo there is no juristicion for vandalism. HottRedMan

2:11pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

HottRedMan wrote:
It is true in this country that it is ok or the norm to be allowed to disregard christianity, but when it comes to other religions, It is taken seriously.
It clearly is mindless vandalism, imo there is no juristicion for vandalism.
Sam Hain suggests that they put the icon behind a bullet proof screen.

Do Muslims have to protected their artifacts thus?

Seems it is always one rule for Christianity and another for other faiths.
[quote][p][bold]HottRedMan[/bold] wrote: It is true in this country that it is ok or the norm to be allowed to disregard christianity, but when it comes to other religions, It is taken seriously. It clearly is mindless vandalism, imo there is no juristicion for vandalism.[/p][/quote]Sam Hain suggests that they put the icon behind a bullet proof screen. Do Muslims have to protected their artifacts thus? Seems it is always one rule for Christianity and another for other faiths. Cornbeefur

10:58pm Sat 9 Feb 13

bonydiver says...

Like, everyone else, I was saddend to see such an appalling act of desecration againt a sacred house of G+d. The vicars probably a liberal which might explain his published view that its just a mindless act of vandalism when clearly it is no such thing. Anyone can see the evidence for themselves that this was a deliberate and targetted attack and pulling the covers over your head wont make the witch at the foot of your bed go away!
Like, everyone else, I was saddend to see such an appalling act of desecration againt a sacred house of G+d. The vicars probably a liberal which might explain his published view that its just a mindless act of vandalism when clearly it is no such thing. Anyone can see the evidence for themselves that this was a deliberate and targetted attack and pulling the covers over your head wont make the witch at the foot of your bed go away! bonydiver

11:09pm Sat 9 Feb 13

bonydiver says...

I take issue with Sam Hains views for the simple reason our entire foundation and charter is built on the law of G+d as delivered by Moses. We know the church has many enemies ranging from radical islam, the lib-dems and the forces of atheism and I dont see why those who had nothing to do with the foundation stone of Great Britain consider themselves worthy to attack it.
I take issue with Sam Hains views for the simple reason our entire foundation and charter is built on the law of G+d as delivered by Moses. We know the church has many enemies ranging from radical islam, the lib-dems and the forces of atheism and I dont see why those who had nothing to do with the foundation stone of Great Britain consider themselves worthy to attack it. bonydiver

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