Pastor calls for action to stop Wellington Baptist Church vandalism

This is The West Country: Rev Sam Griffiths, of Wellington Baptist Church. Rev Sam Griffiths, of Wellington Baptist Church.

A PASTOR says he is fed up with vandals targeting his Wellington church.

The Rev Sam Griffiths, of the Baptist Church, fears youths are responsible for another broken window and says they are congregating in the South Street car park, behind the church, causing a nuisance.

He has asked for Wellington Town Council’s help to stop the anti-social behaviour and the matter was discussed at a meeting this week.

The Rev Griffiths told the County Gazette: “In these days where there have been cuts to youth services it is understandable.

“Young people have got to go somewhere and in Well-ington there are probably not a lot of places to go.

"But when things are happening to your property we have got to say enough is enough – let’s do something about it.”

Councillors discussed the possibility of installing CCTV at the church but many felt this would just move the problem elsewhere.

The matter will instead be discussed by the council’s community safety committee, chaired by Cllr Andrew Govier.

Cllr Govier said: “This is something that sadly seems to come up every now and again. Several people have spoken to me about youths gathering there.

“It’s an area we have had a number of issues and I think it’s something we should look at.”

The damage is the latest in a long line of attacks on the church.

It is the second window in a month that has been smashed, leaving shattered glass across the church’s new kitchen, which was installed three weeks ago.

Now, after months of disruption to meetings, the Rev Griffiths is calling for action.

He added: “We are not anti-young people. We already engage with the community in lots of ways – groups, schools and elsewhere in town. It’s not like we are saying go away and leave us alone.

“When vandalism comes into it, that’s when you have to try to stop this happening.

“For us under 50 we are more used to youths hanging around but for some of the older members walking across the car park can be a nerve-wracking experience.”

PC Rob Wood of Wellington police station, said the problem was “not being overlooked” and asked people to report any anti-social behaviour to 101.

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