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'Abhorrent' attack on Ryedale church
ARSONISTS have attacked a picturesque village church in Ryedale, setting fire to centuries-old furniture and defacing the visitors' book.
St Peter's Church has stood in Wintringham for hundreds of years, and sometime between 3pm and 8pm on Wednesday, August 21, someone went into the church and set fire to a kneeler cushion and a Jacobean pew, scrawled swear words in the church visitors book and even defecated in the vestry.
Two fires were also started in the church grounds.
PC Katie Shaw from Malton police has condemned the incident, and asked the public to help find those responsible.
She said: “The church is in a rural and isolated location but is open to members of the public to enjoy.
“This incident is a particularly abhorrent and disgraceful attack on a building which has stood for hundreds of years.
"It is beyond belief why anyone would do such a thing and what they stood to gain from it.
PC Shaw added: “I am looking to members of the public to help us find out who was responsible and am appealing for anyone who saw any suspicious or unusual activity in the area, either in the village or the roads leading to the church to contact us.
“Don’t worry if you think it’s insignificant, just a small piece of information could help us piece together information which could lead us to whoever is responsible.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for Malton Police, or email Katie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The oldest parts of St Peter's Church date back to the 14th century. The church is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust, but occassional services are still held there and it is open for visitors every day during daylight hours.