BY Peter Diamond | July 26 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

4-statue

Statue of Our Lady smashed at St Vincent’s, East Kilbride

A five foot statue of Our Lady was smashed by vandals at a parish in Motherwell Diocese last week, leaving parishioners and their priest 'deeply upset.'

St Vincent’s Church in East Kilbride was vandalised last Tuesday night when the shrine to Mary the Mother of Jesus was targeted, leaving the statue, which had been shipped from Medjugorje, in pieces.

This week parishioners and the wider community rallied to raise funds to buy a new statue.

Parish priest Fr Ivan Boyle said in his nine years at the parish there have only been three incidents which were ‘deemed bad enough to report.’

 

Vandals

“I was deeply upset by the incident but I don’t think there is any indication that it is distinctly an anti-Catholic attack,” he said.

“It looks like it was just vandals who have came in, pulled down the statue and ran away again.”

Fr Boyle said the vandalism was discovered by a parishioner at 7.30am on Wednesday July 17, and confirmed that the incident would have happened overnight.

“We reported it to the police and the community officer came out and was very helpful,” Fr Boyle said.

 

Cost

In the garden of St Vincent’s Church there is a grotto area and Our Lady’s statue sits there most of the year outside of Lent, Easter and advent.

“The statue cost £1,400 two years ago and cost a further £300 to have it shipped from Medjugorje to East Kilbride,” Fr Boyle added.

“It’s not cheap to get things imported from outside the European Union. I’ve still to find out if the statue was insured or not and if we can claim anything.”

 

Replacement

Fr Boyle, who said he found his vocation in Medjugorje, will be joined by 45 parishioners of St Vincent’s on a pilgrimage to the Marian shrine in October, and the priest hopes to find a replacement for the parish statue.

Asked if he thought the attack on the statue was an anti-Catholic hate crime, Fr Boyle said: “As Christians we are told to turn the other cheek.

“I’m fairly certain there is no underlying sectarian element within the community here in East Kilbride. We get on very well with our neighbours.

“My own view is that if it was anti-Catholic they would have spray painted something or kicked the statue around the garden but it was left where it had been pulled down.

“The MP Lisa Cameron brought it up at parliament last week after it happened and I thanked her for the support and offered my own prayers to her for the abuse directed towards her recently following the abortion vote in Northern Ireland.”

 

Persecution

Lisa Cameron highlighted the attack by ‘mindless vandals’ during a debate in which she highlighted Christian persecution around the world.

Parishioners of St Vincent’s have started fundraising already for a replacement statue and are hosting a parish quiz on Friday August 16.

Fr Boyle added: “I appreciate all the support from the parish and wider community, it has been very welcome. We pray for the person or persons responsible. They are clearly in spiritual poverty.”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “We can confirm that we received reports of the vandalism at St Vincent’s parish and enquires are ongoing. Anyone with any information should telephone 101.”

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