“Gang of 12-year-olds” smash stained glass windows
A gang of boys aged around 12 are thought to be responsible for a spate of incidents at St Peter’s Church in Hale which has damaged stained glass windows that date back to the 19th century.
The first incident took place on Saturday 21st July (2018), when 12 or 13 small panes of glass in a leaded window were smashed in the vestry.
A more significant incident then followed on the night of Thursday 26th July, when a further six or seven panes were smashed in the vestry and stained glass windows on the North Aisle were damaged. Damage to the vestry was sufficient to warrant boarding-up all windows. Fortunately these windows were protected by toughened glass, which sustained most of the damage.
A further incident took place on Friday afternoon, when police were called to the church during a rehearsal for a wedding.
Police confirmed to us they had been called out 4.40pm to reports of youths throwing items at the church’s windows, but the perpetrators had fled. They did however confirm that the church was now getting “passing attention” by local police officers.
Sadly, there is no photographic record of the damaged pre-Raphaelite lights depicting the Angels of Praise and Thanksgiving with musical instruments, which will hinder restoration work. They were part of a series by the firm of Heaton, Butler & Bayne, that includes the two lights shown to the left.