Shock as windows at Toftwood Methodist Church in Dereham are smashed

Joyce Gathercole and Bill Platten, in front of the broken windows at Toftwood Methodist Church. Pict

Joyce Gathercole and Bill Platten, in front of the broken windows at Toftwood Methodist Church. Picture: Stuart Anderson - Credit: Archant

A church community has been left shocked and disappointed after three windows at their place of worship were smashed.

The damage, at Toftwood Methodist Church in Dereham, happened some time between 1pm on Sunday, October 22 and 9am the following morning.

Bill Platten, 86, the church's property steward, said he was upset by the act of thoughtless vandalism.

He said: 'My first thoughts were not good thoughts. I was shocked.

'People should have respect for the property of others.

'The thing is, there's nothing in it - it's to no avail.

'They should be brought to justice.'

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Joyce Gathercole, 66, the church's treasurer, said: 'My first thought was annoyance, I guess, It just makes me cross because it's to no purpose. If they needed money or help all they had to do was come to us, but this is just pure vandalism.'

Mr Platten said the damage would be covered by insurance, but it was still a pointless waste of resources.

He said: 'We do try to work in the community and spend our money in that respect, and then something like this happens.

'We could be doing something better with that money for people's benefit.'

Miss Gathercole said events such as the vandalism were rare, so when they did happen they came as a surprise.

She said about three years ago there was a break-in at the church, but all the culprits managed to do was to force open a safe, which was empty anyway.

A Norfolk Constabulary spokesman said: 'Suspect(s) smashed three windows at Toftwood Methodist Church, in Chapel Lane, sometime between 1pm on Sunday and 9am on Monday (22 and 23 October).

'Anyone with information about the incident, or noticed anything suspicious in the area between the times stated should contact the Dereham Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101.'

Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The church runs events including a film club on the second Friday of the month at 2pm, bowls on Tuesdays at 7pm and a luncheon club. For more information about events at the church, visit