September 17 2014 Latest news:
Janine Rasiah, Senior Reporter
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Vandals set fire to an East Ham church last night, just months after an arson attack damaged another one of its outbuildings.
More than £50,000 worth of damage has been caused to the porch of the Grade I listed St Mary Magdalene Church, the oldest building in Newham.
An arson attack on a nature reserve building within the church site caused a similar amount of damage about three months ago.
Rev Quintin Peppiatt has condemned those responsible and urged the police to ensure that the culprits are caught.
“I think it is outrageous that people should seek to attack church buildings,” he said.
“They have destroyed a Victorian porch that was built in 1908 and damaged the wooden support which has made the whole structure unsafe.
“To put it back to normal is going to take months and months to repair and it is going to cost such a lot of money.”
The churchwarden was called to the blaze at 11.45pm last night with police and fire crews remaining on the scene until 2am.
Rev Peppiatt admitted that he is concerned about the motive behind the attack.
“We hope it wasn’t religiously inspired because we have a minority community but the police will have to investigate those kind of leads,” he said.
“I just don’t know what lies behind it.
“I am obviously shocked and concerned because this is the second time that it has happened in the last three months.”