Sick thief who ransacked church may have been football fan

St Matthew's Church, Bishopbriggs 21.7.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes
St Matthew's Church, Bishopbriggs 21.7.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes

A CHURCH altar was vandalised and candle money stolen in a shocking attack.

St Matthew’s Parish Church, Bishopbriggs, has been left reeling by the abhorrent attack on Friday, September 9.

A candle display was destroyed and donations stolen from a money box, which was also vandalised.

The church’s altar was damaged and candle wax poured over seating, while the intruder also smashed his way into a secure back room – although nothing was reported stolen.

A congregation member spotted a man acting suspiciously in the church at around 3pm.

He is described as being around 5ft 11in tall, with dark brown hair, a ‘prominent jawline’ and ‘good teeth’.

He was said to be wearing a green, short-sleeved top – possibly a football strip of some kind.

Parish Priest Monsignor Hugh Bradley arrived to prepare for a funeral at 5.30pm, to find the distressing scene.

He told the Herald: “Candles had been pulled over and scattered over the front of the church, the altar cross had been pulled off and candle sticks were used to smash the door into the back room.

“The damage probably won’t cost much to repair, but it is just the fact that such a mess has been made of a church which is so dear to so many people.

“The church is open all day and many people come in for some quiet time, so it is upsetting to think that someone would treat this place so terribly. I hope the person responsible is caught and hope if anyone knows anything they will come forward and help.”

A Kirkintilloch police spokesperson said: “It’s disgraceful that somebody has felt the need to desecrate a church.

“We are keen to hear from anybody who might know something about this despicable crime.”

It is thought the crime took place place at St Matthew’s – in South Crosshill Road, Bishopbriggs – between 4.10pm and 5.30pm on Friday, September 9.

You can call Kirkintilloch police on 0141 532 4400 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.