'Barbarians' SMASH parish church's nativity scene and behead Joseph

‘Barbarians’ SMASH 13th century parish church’s nativity scene and behead Joseph to the horror of worshippers

  • Nativity decorations were ripped apart at All Saints Church in Ipswich
  • The festive scene was destroyed four days after it went up in Chevallier Street
  • Members of the parish church were ‘distraught’ and ‘saddened’ 
  • The mischief follows a similar act of vandalism four years ago 

Townsfolk have condemned ‘barbarians’ who ripped apart figures in a nativity scene, including beheading Joseph, four days after they were put up outside a parish church.

The Rev Danny Morrison, vicar of All Saints Church in Ipswich, parts of which date back to the 13th century, said the congregation was ‘distraught and saddened’ at the wanton vandalism.

The incident follows a similar attack in December, 2018, when CCTV footage was issued of a smirking man decapitating Joseph in a savage night-time attack on the nativity display.

People were outraged as news began spreading of the latest attack which saw this year’s nativity scene utterly ruined.

Townsfolk blast the ‘barbarians’ who ripped apart their church nativity scene just days after they were installed outside All Saints Church

The act of vandalism included damage to the wooden structure holding up the scene, along with the mannequins being dismembered.

The festive arrangement was destroyed just four days after it went up in Chevallier Street and has left the priest baffled. Reverend Danny Morrison said ‘I was distraught, I was saddened, I was bewildered.

‘Why would someone have so much hatred and desire to ruin and destroy something that is not their property, and something that is there to express someone’s belief?

The wreckage included damage to the wooden structure holding up the scene, along with the mannequins being dismembered – one of which being Joseph 

 The attack on the church display just four days after it first went up

‘I am also saddened because I know the amount of work put in by so many at the church, and also saddened for the people that have done it.

‘What state might their life be like if they find pleasure in doing this? I am trying to make sense which I really can’t.’

Other members of the local church shared their fury. One said ‘Whoever did this should be ashamed – it is barbaric.’


Members of the church were heartbroken by the cruel act of vandalism after dedicating a long time to putting the figures up. Pictured: Left, Reverend Danny Morrison and right, Jane Cornish

Jane Cornish, a leader at the church, said ‘It took a long time to put up the figures and make the display look nice, and we feel is something that is appreciated around here.

‘It was so sad when we arrived in the morning to see it in bits on the ground.

‘We have got other ready-made figures which we use inside but they are not as sturdy, and to fix the figures would take a long time because they really are in little bits.’

The nativity scene has been running annually for the past five years, and although it had faced damage in the past, it was never to the same extent.

The ‘distraught’ members of the church with the figures that had been vandalised

Saints Church in Ipswich includes parts which date back to the 13th century

Ipswich borough councillor Carole Jones, who represents Westgate Ward where the church is situated, said ‘I’m really disappointed and saddened.

‘It’s hard to understand such mindless vandalism, especially as this is meant to remind people of Christmas.

‘It is a gift to the neighbourhood as well, when people pass it and see it, it cheers them up.’

Fellow ward councillor Colin Kreidewolf said ‘The church puts up a display every year and it is lovely, so it is distressing and concerning to see that people feel it is okay to vandalise.

‘I will get in touch with the church to see if there’s anything we can do.’

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