THE SHARED church at Cippenham. Berkshire, has been the object of a sinister arson attack. As firemen rushed to the scene it was discovered that many of the candles in the main part of the church had been lit.
The church. jointly managed by Catholics and Anglicans, which was set on fire on the day before Palm Sunday is only now hack in full use. The damage was confined to the north-east corner of the building, which was unusable for several months. Theories that the fire was started by children or hooligans seem unlikely, the wife of the Anglican minister told the Herald. "It is very odd," she added.
Restoration work has been finished just in time for the celebrations of the eleventh anniversary of the opening of the church. the first new parochial church in Britain. The work cost £15,000 but the corner of the building has improved panelling and added storage space.
The anniversary is to be celebrated in style on St Andrew's Day, November 30, with a meal, prepared by the Catholic clergy of "bangers and mash". There will also be a Eucharistic celebration and an address by the Reverend John Perry, the minister of the Cippenham Free Church.
The year of St Andrew's has been a particularly busy one. Apart from dealing with the fire, the parish has been involved with some very successful fund raising ventures. including organising six concerts in the church which raised a total of' £1,000 for the Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children.