Blasphemous graffiti sprayed on Plymouth church at Christmas
BLASPHEMOUS vandals have sparked anger by spray-painting obscene and provocative slogans on a church.
The graffiti yobs are also being blamed for kicking over flower arrangements set up outside St Mary's Church in Plympton ready for midnight mass.
Police say the heartless attack is just the latest in a string of similar incidents in the area.
The Herald reported this year how offensive language and slogans were daubed on Plympton's new library and on the pavilion the nearby cricket club, sparking outrage.
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Investigators say vandals struck at St Mary's at around 8pm on Sunday, December 23.
They sprayed obscene and provocative statements on the front doors of the much-loved Market Road church.
Among the statements were a swear word apparently aimed at the congregation and the sentence 'God hates you – but he's not real!'.
Police said the vandals appear to have then entered the church's foyer and kicked over the flowers.
Officers attended the scene, but the culprits had fled.
St Mary's vicar Reverend Margaret Cameron said volunteers were organising the church for midnight mass at the time of the incident.
"It is a sad state of affairs," she said. "They're such beautiful doors and the point is for them to be welcoming to all."
Church warden Ken Kingwell added: "The volunteers heard a rumpus outside which must've been the flowers being kicked over.
"They went out to investigate but the culprits had scarpered."
Investigators believe the vandalism is linked with other similar cases in the Colebrook and Geasons Lane areas which have been found over the Christmas period.
A police spokesman said: "We've had incidents where both red and green spray paint has been used.
"One was on a private wall with the words 'prison this way', an arrow and the Anarchy symbol.
"At an underpass in Colebrook we've had green writing 'rise up' and the Anarchy symbol."
The police spokesman added: "They appear to be in different handwriting so we believe this is the work of more than one person but working together.
"We've contacted Plymouth City Council's street cleaning department who said they will come out to clean the graffiti.
"We're very keen to hear from anybody who may have seen these acts of criminal damage carried out."
If you have any information about the incident contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting crime reference EP/12/1325.
If you spot incidents of graffiti they can also be reported to the council's street cleaning department on 01752 668000.
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