Nazi swastikas on church hall

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Swastikas and other Nazi graffiti was spray painted on a church hall hours before a baptism reception was held there on Sunday.

Church leaders in Gosberton were horrified when windows, doors and a wall were plastered in offensive material, including the number 88 – a reference to heil Hitler – next to the outline of a hand in the Nazi salute.

NAZI GRAFFITI: The Rev Ian Walters beside the offensive symbols in the hall doorway.

NAZI GRAFFITI: The Rev Ian Walters beside the offensive symbols in the hall doorway.

Church workers leapt into action and cleaned off most of the graffiti before 60 guests arrived.

Parish assistant Debbie Reynolds missed Sunday morning’s service because she was frantically scraping off black paint.

She said: “It’s Nazi stuff and anti-semitism. We don’t want any of that in the village.

“I spent two hours on Sunday morning scraping paint off all the glass.”

Vicar the Rev Ian Walters is padre to Gosberton branch of The Royal British Legion, which holds its meetings at the hall, and he and ex-service veterans have spoken of their horror at the attack.

Police are investigating the spray paint attack that left Gosberton church hall and other buildings plastered with Nazi and Far Right graffiti.

The hall is out of sight behind St Peter and St Paul’s Church, but the front wall of a home in Salem Street was targeted along with garages and an electricity sub-station near the church.

Mr Walters is most horrified because whoever carried out the attack must have studied Nazi and Far Right material as some of it isn’t generally known, like 88 standing for heil Hitler (H is the eighth letter of the alphabet) or C18 standing for extremists Combat 18.

But swastikas are understood.

Mr Walters said: “It’s something that will be seen by pretty well everyone as being extremely offensive.

“It’s very offensive material and we are very worried in the light of that man in Norway (Anders Behring Breivik) who murdered nearly 80 people. He belonged to a Far Right organisation which had Nazi sympathies.”

Parish assistant Debbie Reynolds said: “I don’t know how anyone can sympathise with the Nazi movement. It’s terrible.”

Church officials believe the attack happened in the early hours of Sunday and are appealing to anyone who knows anything to call the police.

Gosberton Royal British Legion president John Weeks was a wartime evacuee and his father served in the First and Second World Wars.

He said: “I think it’s terrible. Anybody connected with the war would find it very offensive and insulting, really.”

Sunday’s baptism reception went ahead and Mr Walters said the graffiti would have been covered up if it could not have been removed on time as guests travelled from Scotland and the south coast.

• Witnesses can call PC Steve Birtles on 101 or talk anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.