Sad news from our friends at Wakefield Westgate Chapel:-
Sometime on the night of 9 April 2019, Wakefield’s Historic Westgate Chapel was attacked. The assailants gained entry to the building by smashing a window and breaking down doors.
The attackers stole elements of the chapel’s sound and audio-visual system, and other electronic devices, including a laptop and vacuum. Exhibits from an art exhibition the chapel is hosting until may as part of the Wakefield Art Walk were also taken by the perpetrators of this act. Sickeningly, the same people also targeted the beautiful pulpit of 1737 for mindless acts of vandalism, along with wood work and other fittings in the chapel.
The chapel organ was singled out as a target- with damage caused and parts stolen. The chapel kitchen was ‘turned over’ and donation boxes torn apart and the contents taken.
Our beautiful sanctuary has been violated by mindless thugs. Not since the dark days of 1795 has the chapel been targeted in this manner. We the trustees and congregation are in shock that such an attack could take place.
We would like to thank West Yorkshire Police for their prompt actions.
We urge all other faith groups in Wakefield, as well as homes and businesses in the community close to the chapel to be vigilant. If a place of worship can be attacked and its sanctity violated, we fear that homes and shops may also suffer the same fate.
Our service on Easter Day, will mark new beginnings as we come to terms with the robbery and to begin healing and reconciliation. Easter is a story of hope in darkness, that no matter how bad things seem at the present, hope is always present. That dark days can be overcome.
We as a faith community have been targeted before for our stance on same sex marriage with pride flags and banners taken down by those opposed to equality. Our sanctuary will be re-dedicated, and the community will strive forward in our fostering of liberal non-dogmatic religion in Wakefield and our bold and ambitious redevelopment plans.
We ask our local community to join in our service of re-dedication on Easter Day, and support us in our endeavour to ‘spring clean’ the chapel and breathe life back into our sanctuary following this attack.