CHURCH leaders in Weymouth are devastated after brick-throwing yobs targeted their building twice in a week.
‘Irreplaceable’ stained glass was damaged in the attack on the East Window at All Saints Church in Wyke Regis.
Three holes were made by small bricks which were ‘thrown at great force’.
Police are investigating and will be visiting local schools as part of their inquiries.
Witnesses and anyone with information is being urged to come forward.
The Vicar of Wyke Regis, the Rev Deb Smith, said the vandals had ‘struck out at the community’ as All Saints is deeply rooted in the area.
The prominent East Window, behind the altar, dates from Victorian times and contains detailed biblical illustrations and an inscription.
Mrs Smith said: “We are devastated. It has happened twice in a week “The East Window is beautiful and irreplaceable and the church is a landmark. We’re part of the community here and we see this as someone striking out at the community.
“I am shocked and saddened. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my time here.”
Mrs Smith said someone was working in the church the second time missiles were thrown at the windows but no-one was outside when he went to look.
A small red brick which had been thrown through the window landed halfway up the chancel so it must have been ‘thrown at great force’, said Mrs Smith.
Churchwarden Gary Hepburn said the repairs would cost ‘several thousand pounds.’ He said: “The people who did this may have thought they had just broken a window but we’re talking about a detailed repair job to replace graphics and detailed script.
“We’ll have to get a specialist company in and they’ll probably have to use scaffolding because one of the holes is quite high up. The fact is though whatever will replace it will be modern material. The original glass is broken and gone forever.
“The other problem we face is that once it’s replaced they could come along and do it again.”
Mr Hepburn urged people to be vigilant when walking near the church.
The first attack happened about 4.30pm on Friday, January 10. The second incident was at the same time on Thursday, January 16.
Anyone with information can contact Dorset Police on 101 quoting crime number C1452143.