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Vicar 'horrified and angry' after mountain of rubbish dumped in front of church

by Tola Mbakwe

A vicar in Stafford has been left infuriated after a big pile of rubbish was dumped in front of her church. 

Rev Elaine Evans of St Bertelin's Church told Premier she found out about it on Wednesday morning when a dog walker alerted her husband about it.

"I couldn't believe my eyes," she said. 

"I couldn't believe that somebody would have dumped stuff like that on a car park that belonged to a church or anywhere other than a landfill site to be honest. I was just horrified and angry."

To give an idea of how much rubbish was left there, she said the pile is taller than her and she's 5 foot 6. She also said it takes up six car park spaces, blocking most of the entrance to the church. She estimates it's between and 20 and 40 tons. 

 "I've no clue why someone would do this except they've been paid to take the rubbish away and they don't want to pay the landfill fee so they're keeping the money to themselves," she speculated. 

"It's a form of theft really."

Rev Evans told Premier the Environment Agency has treated the situation as a crime and will be inspecting it. 

She added that the church is responsible for having the rubbish removed as it's on private land. 

"They [the congregation] are furious about it, and so are members of the local community. They just can't believe it.They just look at it and say, 'who could have done something like this?"

While the church being treated as a dumping ground has angered church members, Rev Evans said she's received a lot of support from people who have no affiliation with St Bertelin's Church.

"I've just been surprised at the depth of feeling in the local community, the people who don't necessarily come to the church, but who see the church as belonging to them," she explained. 

"It's been wonderful. I've had all sorts of messages from people. I hope that church members take comfort from that and that they feel that they're not on their own."

She has asked people to pray for the safety of the church. 

"The fact that the church is a symbol of God's love in the community, so this rubbish being dumped outside the symbol of God's love doesn't sit well with me. 

"I want the church to become a once again a place of peace and contemplation, where people feel that they're welcome and that they don't have to deal with a whole load of rubbish."

Rev Evans hopes the rubbish can be removed before the church's next Sunday service.

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