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David Bagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
David Bagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
World News

Plans for steel face to protect church from public defecation

by Lydia Davies

Plans are underway to install a steel fence around a 12th-century church in response to persistent drug use, defecation, and littering problems.

The proposed railings and gate at St Mary's Church in Shrewsbury aim to shield a staircase leading to a boiler room, which has become a hotspot for antisocial behaviour.

The Churches Conservation Trust, responsible for the church, has filed a planning application with Shropshire Council, revealing staff frequently encounter needles, condoms, and human waste.

"People have also tried to light fires against the gas meter cupboard doors at the bottom of the steps," the application notes.

Robert Milton from the Churches Conservation Trust highlighted the secluded spot's appeal for illicit activities in an interview with BBC Radio Shropshire: "It was easy for people to remain 'tucked out of sight,'" he said, leading to misuse of the church's premises.

 "I think this is just unacceptable... towards not only members of staff but visitors in turn," Milton expressed.

He further explained that the railings would replicate an 18th-century design removed in 1939, acknowledging some may see this as an extreme solution.

"It could be seen as extreme but to be perfectly honest, we're hoping people can understand that this is a problem that has to be dealt with," he told the radio station.

Despite efforts to engage with those involved, including directing them to local support services, Milton lamented the persistence of such behaviour. He added: "The fact people are carrying on with this sort of attitude and misuse is just totally unacceptable to ourselves and other individuals."

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