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Vandals target memorial garden and recreational space at Newbury Methodist Church





A church garden has been vandalised in Newbury.

Vandals have trampled and dug up flowers and shrubs at Newbury Methodist Church on Northbrook Street — some planted in memory of loved ones who have died.

The damaged caused at Newbury Methodist Church
The damaged caused at Newbury Methodist Church

The incident is believed to have occurred between Sunday morning and Monday morning.

Rev Rachel Borgars outside Newbury Methodist Church
Rev Rachel Borgars outside Newbury Methodist Church

Leader of young church and safeguarding officer, Doris Vaughan, said: “We were contacted to say the plants had been uprooted and strewn across the roads and pathways.

“We managed to salvage a number albeit damaged, but many were missing completely.

“They had also pulled up the plants from the back garden and trampled on the rest.”

Rev Rachel Borgars outside Newbury Methodist Church
Rev Rachel Borgars outside Newbury Methodist Church

The church recently began costly upgrades to improve the front garden, including replanting the flower beds, in a bid to improve the outdoor space for use by church and community groups.

But during the incident contractors’ signage was disturbed and plants were uprooted and dispersed around the property.

The damaged caused at Newbury Methodist Church
The damaged caused at Newbury Methodist Church
The damaged caused at Newbury Methodist Church
The damaged caused at Newbury Methodist Church

Part of the garden was a Newbury in Bloom winner.

"It's so distressing that someone would do that for no apparent reason,” said the minister at Newbury, Rachel Borgars.

“The garden was created in memory of people and people have contributed money for it.

"To have to start again is not ideal when people have put a lot of time and energy into it.

“I have congregation members who are upset and that upsets me.

Rev Rachel Borgars standing on the damaged front lawn at Newbury Methodist Church
Rev Rachel Borgars standing on the damaged front lawn at Newbury Methodist Church

“A tree recently planted in memory of a much-loved former church member has disappeared, causing much personal distress to his family and friends alike.”

She confirmed the incident has been reported to Thames Valley Police.

The church is asking any witnesses or those with CCTV to contact the police regarding this incident.

You can also contact minister@newburymethodistchurch.org.uk if you wish to help restore the garden.



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