From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ACNS3312 Prince shocked by new vandal attack on war memorial

From "Anglican Communion News Service" <>
Date Mon, 17 Feb 2003 23:54:36 -0000

ACNS 3312     |     ENGLAND	|     18 FEBRUARY 2003

Prince shocked by new vandal attack on war memorial

[Church of England] The Prince of Wales has voiced his support for a village
whose war memorial has again been desecrated by vandals less than five
months after he witnessed its rededication.

A figure of Christ has been torn from an 8ft wooden cross outside the parish
church of St Michael and All Angels at Cottingley, near Bradford, West
Yorks. It was found lying face down in mud, with one arm broken and its side
slashed with a blade. There had also been an attempt to burn the resin

The attack on the memorial to 29 parishioners who fell in the Great War
followed a similar incident in May 2002, when local children pulled the
figure of Christ from the cross and older youths used the head as a
football. The attack horrified local churchgoers.

The Prince read about the first incident in the national press, and
willingly agreed to attend the rededication on September 30 last year.

Last night (Monday 17 February) a spokesman for the Prince said that he was
"very concerned" to hear of the second attack on the memorial and that "his
thoughts are with the local community". The spokesman added that the Prince
had written to the vicar, the Revd Sue Pinnington, to express his continued

After the church service last year the Prince encouraged those "angered,
numbed and bewildered" by the attack to see it as the "catalyst for
something good." He also said that the incident was a reminder of the
importance of "reconnection with our roots" and showed how vital was the
thread of continuity that links one generation with another."

The Prince was accompanied on his visit to Cottingley - a predominantly
white, middling area with pockets of severe economic deprivation - by
representatives from three of his organisations: the Prince's Foundation;
the Prince's Trust and Business in the Community (BiTC).

Since then the parish church has been working with all three organisations,
particularly in relation to the Cottingley Cornerstones Project which wants
to redevelop the church site and replace the 1960s building which is showing
its age and suffers from numerous defects.

The Rev Sue Pinnington said, "After the wonderful day we celebrated together
with the Prince of Wales last September, this is a heartbreaking and very
disillusioning incident."

The Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd David James, said, "I'm deeply saddened
for the church and the people of Cottingley. It is heartbreaking that
anybody should want to symbolically crucify Christ afresh by breaking this
memorial apart. He died for the forgiveness of these vandals."

The ACNSlist is published by the Anglican Communion Office, London.

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