15 : Arson attack in 1962

On Tuesday March 13th 1962, two young children, an 11-year old girl from Greenford and her brother aged 10, set fire to the high altar. Pages were ripped from the lectern bible and strewn about the altar, while chairs were piled up and set alight with other furnishings after oil had been spilt on the carpet from the sanctuary lamp.   When the altar was ablaze, the children rushed out and told a lady passing by, and the fire brigade were summoned and managed to confine the damage to the altar and the immediate area.   When the two children stood before the Ealing Juvenile Court a week later, it was reported that damage was estimated at over £1000.   The new altar table, frontal and sanctuary carpet were used for the first time at Easter 1963.   The insurance payment totalled £835, and included £100 allowance for ‘renovating the murals’.


Altar before the fire damage


New altar in 1963

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