Vicar’s plea: Out of shocking destruction – let’s come together

One week on from the wanton destruction of at least 20 ancient gravestones in the churchyard at Croydon Minster, Canon Andrew Bishop, the Vicar of Croydon, has appeared in an emotionally-charged video posted on social media.

Inside Croydon was first to report the desecration in the graveyard, which was conducted over three nights by vandals equipped with sledgehammers.

Shocked: Rev Canon Andrew Bishop

Some of the gravestones destroyed were nearly 300 years old, and had survived the great fire at Croydon’s parish church 160 years ago, and the Blitz during World War II. But they proved easy prey for Croydon vandals in 2023.

In his video, recorded yesterday, Rev Bishop thanks various officials, including Sarah Jones, the local MP, and Mayor Jason Perry, for their offers of help, and Rowland Brothers, the local undertakers, who have offered to try to restore any of the stones which might be salvageable.

Rev Bishop referred to the “horrible scene of destruction”, but thanked all those who had rallied round in support “in what’s been a great shock to the system for this church”.

He said: “In all of the rallying round, there’s been a great sign of hope that Croydon can come together. Let’s not just come together for this sort of thing, let’s come together for so many things.

“I want to recommit this church to being a part of that.”

There have so far been no arrests made for the vandalism in the churchyard. If anyone has any information about who carried out the destruction, please contact the Metropolitan Police by phoning 101.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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