Thousands raised for East Horndon church ‘trashed’ by revellers

January 28, 2021
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Thousands of pounds has been raised to pay for repairs to a 500-year-old church that was “trashed” during an illegal New Year’s Eve party.

Hundreds of revellers attended the party at All Saints Church in East Horndon, near Brentwood, after the building was broken into.

Three people were arrested on suspicion of public order and drugs offences.

Volunteer group Friends of All Saints said it was “completely overwhelmed” by peoples’ “support and generosity”.

The fundraising page was set up on Friday and aimed to raise £2,000, but in less than 24 hours it had raised more than £8,700.

It said a “massive clean-up” was needed at the “much-loved” church after “hundreds of revellers trashed the place”.

Essex is in England’s top tier four of coronavirus restrictions and on Wednesday declared a major incident over virus cases.

Astrid Gillespie, a volunteer with the Friends of All Saints, said event organisers had smashed a window to put in an extractor fan unit and wired sound equipment into the church’s fuse box.

She said: “It was a professional set-up. They had a bar area where you had to exchange tokens.

“It’s such a beautiful church. To find out it’s been damaged is devastating.”

Referring to the money that was raised, she said: “Faith in humanity restored”.

The church, which is owned and maintained by the Churches Conservation Trust, has not been used for religious services since 1970, but regularly houses community events.

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