Anger and heartbreak as vandals wreck nativity scene

21 December 2021

Villagers were left angry and upset after vandals wrecked a Nativity scene in their parish churchyard.

The Nativity was put in place at St John’s Church in Minskip, near Boroughbridge, last week in time for a carol service, held outside because of ongoing Covid concerns.

Churchwarden Robert Beaumont, said:

A central part of that was this lovely Nativity scene, which three or four of the church council had put up by themselves.

The lovely couple, Jason and Helen, who live next door to the church, heard a noise at about 5am,” Robert said.

They’re not sure if that was the vandals destroying the Nativity scene but when they looked out of their windows at about 7am, all the wise men, the crib, everything, was scattered all around the churchyard.

To have it just destroyed in this wanton and mindless manner was heart-breaking. And we’ve all been thinking, why would anybody want to do that?

The first indication that something had happened came early this morning (Tuesday).

The church has reported the vandalism to police, who are treating it seriously.

Churchwarden at St John’s, Minskip, Robert Beaumont, with the restored nativity scene
Churchwarden at St John’s, Minskip, Robert Beaumont, with the restored nativity scene

Villagers have managed to salvage the scene and rebuild it, Robert said:

Although the vandals kicked parts of the scene all over the church or they didn’t break them in two.

So with a lot of love and care, three members of our church committee worked from about half past eight this morning and put the whole scene back together again.

And so, as one of our church council members said, love will always triumph over hate and good over evil. And that’s one of the messages of Christmas, so that was rather appropriate.

But that doesn’t quite extinguish my anger as churchwarden that people should find it appropriate to desecrate our churchyard.

It caps a challenging period for St John’s

Robert explained:

We just had a bad few weeks for our church because some drunken motorist crashed into our church wall about six weeks ago, smashing the wall up and causing an awful lot of damage.

Unfortunately, because of our insurance, we’ve had to fork out £500 excess for mending it. So it’s been a traumatic few weeks for our local church, but we’re nothing if not resilient.

And, Covid allowing, the village will hold an outdoor Christmas Day service “with the Nativity scene firmly in the foreground.

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