Suffragettes March 16 1914

THE MORNING POST MARCH 16 1914

MILITANTS AND THE CHURCH

WANTON DESECRATION OF BIRMINGHAM CATHEDRAL

A disgraceful outrage in Birmingham Cathedral was discovered yesterday. It is supposed that someone was secreted in the building on Saturday after Evensong, and late at night opened the vestry door and admitted other persons. “Votes for Women,” “Stop forcible feeding,” and similar militant messages were daubed in white paint over the side galleries, the pillars, floors, pew fronts, and practically every spot within reach from floor to ceiling. Even the magnificent Burne-Jones window was not respected, the words “Votes for Women” being painted across the middle and it is feared that permanent injury has been done to it. The pulpit front was disfigured. On the vestry door were the words “The clergy must rise on our behalf,” and the front of the organ was slashed. The work must have occupied a number of people, armed with buckets of paint, for several hours. There is a good light in the building from outside lamps. Only the space beyond the Communion rails escaped attention.

In ordinary circumstances the Judges attending the Birmingham Assizes would have visited the Cathedral yesterday morning, and this, no doubt, prompted the wanton mischief, but their Lordships will not arrive in the City until today. The greatest indignation was expressed by the members of the congregation at the morning and evening services. The police are making inquiries, but they have no clue. It is thought that women alone could not have carried out the work, which will probably necessitate the closing of the Cathedral for several weeks.

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