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Central London church vandalised

The church of St Anselm and St Cecilia (Stephen Osborne)

A London church was vandalised last Tuesday. Tables, pews and candlestands were flung to the floor in the church of St Anselm and St Cecilia on Kingsway, near Holborn tube station in central London, shortly after 10am. CCTV footage showed “a short, stocky Caucasian man” coming through the church door and throwing furniture around for about two-and-a-half minutes, said parish priest Fr David Barnes.

The church was closed for several hours as police examined the scene. As well as the CCTV image of the man they found very good fingerprints and footprints, he said.

The incident took place on the same day that Fr Jacques Hamel was murdered in France. When St Anselm and St Cecilia was reopened around 4pm a notice on the door warned visitors to be careful of wax on the floor, spilled from the votive lights. It described briefly what had happened, then said: “This is tiresome, but nothing compared with what the church near Rouen has endured. Pray for them.”