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Willesden church pastor's shock and disgust as rocks are thrown through all his windows

PUBLISHED: 07:15 09 May 2019

Rev Clifford Bedeau outside the vandalised Elim Church in Willesden. Picture: Keith Matthews

Rev Clifford Bedeau outside the vandalised Elim Church in Willesden. Picture: Keith Matthews

Archant

A Willesden pastor must raise £2,000 after vandals threw rocks through four church windows during the Easter Bank Holiday.

Reverend Clifford Bedeau, who leads the Elim Pentecostal Church in High Road, said it's the first act of vandalism during his 15 year tenure.

At some point following the service on Easter Sunday large rocks were thrown through the windows, as reported to him by a member of his parish on April 23.

Two stained glass windows and two double-glazed side window panes were destroyed in the attack and need replacing.

He said: "I had a service on Easter Sunday but there was no service after that as it was a bank holiday. It was during the bank holiday when all those terror attacks were happening in Sri Lanka. What happened there was a terrible thing. You get reactions to things happening like that. To me it [the attack on his church] was done with intent."

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More than 250 people died and some 500 others were injured when suicide bombers detonated bombs at churches and luxury hotels across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

Rev Bedeau added: "When I saw the damage I was angry, shocked, disgusted, disappointed, especially when I saw the extent of it.

"People have all kinds of reasons for vandalism. Was it some grievance? Or some kind of fashionable thing to do? Our role is to bridge the gaps in the community, not to be the aim of any destructive beliefs.

"It will cost at least £2,000 to replace the windows. We've never had something of this severity. The church has insurance but it will push up the premiums."

Willesden Green councillor Tom Miller said: "This is an atrocious act of vandalism not just against the church but against the wider community in Willesden. Because the attack was carried out at Easter time, it's clear that insult has been added to injury. Whilst it's not the role of the council to compensate victims of vandalism, I've agreed to help them get some advice on how they can fundraise, and if they are up for it, to assist in setting up some crowdsourcing."

Call police on 101 and quote reference CAD6287/23APR.

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