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Community rallies to help St Mary's in wake of arson attack

Father Jonathan beside the fire-blackened door at the church store.
Father Jonathan beside the fire-blackened door at the church store.

Offers of help are being made in the aftermath of Sunday’s midnight arson attack that wrecked an outbuilding at St Mary’s Church, Long Sutton.

District councillor Jack Tyrrell, who helped found Long Sutton Men’s Shed, is inviting local builders to join a community project to restore the existing building and says “shedders” would happily replace its timbers, doors and windows.

Father Jonathan Sibley is heartened by the public response, including support shown by local businesses and residents, but fears the outbuilding will have to be demolished.

He said: “In the opinion of the fire service, it is unsafe and will need to be demolished.”

Father Jonathan says the whole of the back wall is lost, there are big holes in the front of the building and beams holding the roof are totally charred.

“The roof is only being held up by faith,” he said.

Residents condemned the attack, which destroyed equipment used for the St Mary’s flower festival.

Father Jonathan said: “So many of the community have expressed deep shock, really, and disgust about what’s happened. It is a landmark building.”

He’s been in touch with church planning authorities to gain consents for demolition and a rebuild.

Coun Tyrrell says he’s sure local people will come together if the building can be saved but if it turns out that a new build is required, he believes the Church itself will steer that project.

Police investigations are still active and Lincolnshire Police have renewed their appeal for witnesses to contact them or make an anonymous call to Crimestoppers.

A police spokesman said: “Further enquiries will take place into this incident over the next day or so.

“If you were in the area of St Mary’s Church at Long Sutton, during the early hours of June 4, and saw anything suspicious, please contact Lincolnshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 6 of June 4, or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org”

Previously ...

Police brand arson attack as "reckless and dangerous"


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