By Tony Winterburn • 02 January 2021 • 19:38
Church raises £9000 after it was ‘trashed’ in illegal New Year’s Eve rave. image: Twitter
Church raises £9000 after it was ‘trashed’ in illegal New Year’s Eve rave.
A 15th Century church in Essex has crowdfunded over £9000 in less than 24 hours after their historic building was “trashed” during an illegal New Year’s Eve rave. Essex Police say “hundreds of people” attended the New Year’s Eve rave at All Saints East Horndon, with party-goers throwing objects and threatening officers as they worked to break up the party.
The illegal gathering caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the Grade II* listed church, with walls damaged and a window broken to be used for an air extraction system. The party was dispersed before midnight and equipment was seized, police say. Three arrests were made. Father Paul Hamilton, the vicar at the church, said drugs and bottles were left “all over the place”, adding: “the place stinks of drugs”.
“None of us are angels and we have all pushed the boundaries a little bit in our time, but this really was very unsafe and it was a very disrespectful way to use a church that is historically of phenomenal interest,” he added.
“There are so many historic figures buried there, we have got a former speaker of the House of Commons buried there, and drugs and paraphernalia were all over their graves.” Since word of the damage spread, hundreds of people have donated money to crowdfunding set up by the church community, with £9000 raised in just 20 hours.
Astrid Gillespie, who set up the donation page on behalf of Friends of All Saints, told LBC she was “absolutely blown away”. “I thought we would struggle to get to a thousand, which was our initial target… but then we reached that goal within an hour! Probably a thousand would not have covered the damage but I didn’t want to be too greedy. But then it just took off.”
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