Heartbroken widow speaks out after vandals destroy memorial bench - The Stratford Observer
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17th Aug, 2022

Heartbroken widow speaks out after vandals destroy memorial bench

Ian Hughes 6th Oct, 2017

A WIDOW has spoken of her heartbreak after vandals destroyed her husband’s memorial bench in a peaceful village churchyard.

The woman, who did not want to be named for fear of repercussions, had found ‘sanctuary’ at the bench in St Peter’s Church in Wootton Wawen for the past two decades following the passing of her husband.

But she was devastated when she recently visited with flowers to place on his grave only to find the bench had been smashed.

She wanted those responsible to understand the consequences of their actions so contacted The Observer.

Addressing the culprits she said: “I know you have been sitting on this bench quite often, as I have moved your empty beer cans.

“I didn’t mind as I thought maybe you were homeless and found peace in this lovely churchyard.

“But when I recently went to lay flowers I felt my heart would break in two when I saw the bench smashed, and also a bag containing more empty cans and wine bottles.

“I used to sit on this bench and reflect on what my life was like and what it would be if my husband was still alive. You have taken that away from me.

“The bench had been there for over 19 years. We kept it in nice order. It was my sanctuary.

“Well it has gone now. I will not be replacing it, so you will need to find somewhere else to enjoy your alcohol.

“If you have any feelings you will be full of remorse at your actions.”

The Rev Andy Larkin, vicar of St Peter’s, said the vandalism had been very upsetting.

He told The Observer: “Everyone at St Peter’s Church was distressed to see one of our churchyard benches vandalised. Unfortunately the bench was not in sight of our CCTV cameras, so we do not know who caused the damage.

“I have asked the congregation to be vigilant and let me know if they see anyone acting suspiciously in the churchyard.”

St Peter’s is thought to be the oldest church in Warwickshire with a history dating back to 720 when the first wooden church was built.

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