Church to stay closed for foreseeable future after fires

Evesham Journal: 1314554901 Paul Jackson 25.03.14 Broadway Arson in Broadway - St Eadburgha's Church. (4868514) 1314554901 Paul Jackson 25.03.14 Broadway Arson in Broadway - St Eadburgha's Church. (4868514)

A BROADWAY church will remain closed until May after it was badly damaged by an arson attack.

St Eadburgha's Church in Snowshill Road was one of five places targeted in a series of five arson attacks last Monday evening (March 24).

The building's 12th century medieval door was destroyed in the attack and the inside of the church was also left needing repairs.

It will now remain shut until May but Reverend Michelle Massey is hoping to see the church open to its congregation and public for an event on May 31.

Revd Massey said: "The whole church is covered in a layer of soot so it's going to be closed for the foreseeable future.

"Services were due to start at St Eadburgha's Church at Easter but these have been relocated and will now take place at St Michael's Church.

"We have temporary doors now and we are just following the process of insurance through.

"It will be closed at least until May, if not longer. We were having a display of carpentry in the chucrh for the Broadway Art Festival on May 31 and we are hopeful that could still happen.

"But it's a grade 1 listed building so it's not straight forward."

Broadway Library is also closed as a result of the fire attacks, which saw the Lifford Hall, Broadway Police Station and Barn Close Surgery targeted all in one night.

Steve Williams, the chair of the committee currently raising money to keep the library open said: "The lobby to the library is badly damaged but no flames got past the two doors, although there is some smoke damage which has made the hall way smokey, that has to be cleaned.

"We don't have a timetable for the opening but is will be as soon as possible. For now members are being serviced by the mobile library."

The police station remains boarded up and insurance claims are ongoing to repair the damage at the Lifford Hall.

In the aftermath of the arson attacks Revd Massey said the rest of the village are now coming to terms with the deliberate fires.

"I think people are coming down to the idea now and asking why did they do it and how could they do it to a 12th century door that's survived Henry VIII and world wars," she said.

"But I am grateful the fire service and the police got before it got a lot worse. One of our pews was burnt and the roof started to go.

West Mercia Police said no one had been arrested in connection with the incident but appealed to any witnesses or anyone who saw anything suspicious to call them on 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting number 3s 25/03/14.

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