Tingewick residents 'alarmed, disturbed and quite angry' after another fire causes damage to old chapel

'There is a pattern growing locally, starting with arson in the centre of Buckingham', says councillor

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 11:42 am

People are "alarmed, disturbed and quite angry" following another fire in the village of Tingewick.

According to the parish council, the small chapel at the cemetery in Water Stratford Road was targeted on Tuesday night (October 12).

A large stained-glass window was broken and half removed, and the carved stone window mullion broke in pieces when it fell. A small fire inside the chapel has damaged three of the original pews.

The chapel with the window removed

The blaze follows a suspected arson attack in Tingewick on Saturday, September 25, which caused damage to the Roundwood Infant School and Tingewick Pre-school buildings.

Ironically, county councillor for Buckingham, Robin Stuchbury, who grew up in Tingewick, learned about the fire after attending a meeting of the Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority, where he asked whether they had the resources available to investigate.

He told the Advertiser: "I didn’t realise I was going to return home to find the chapel in the village I was born, where so many of my relatives rest within, would be a victim of another arson attack, after the recent one on the school which I attended as a small child."

Councillor Stuchbury has since written to the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Matthew Barber.

The broken window

In his letter, he said: "I was alarmed and somewhat disturbed to find out on my return this evening that the chapel in the cemetery within Tingewick has been victim of another arson attack - this is becoming a frequent occurrence.

"I asked what resources are available to crack down on these matters within the meeting today at the Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire fire authority.

"I think you would agree this was the right question to ask, as it affected my constituents and as stated it’s becoming very disturbing indeed.

"Can you advise me what actions are in place to track and investigate who or what individuals carried out these assaults on the quiet law-abiding residence of my village of Tingewick, who I am fortunate and privileged to represent.

The broken window outside the chapel

"It cannot be right that the residents have to wait, will be waiting in dread of the next occasion or the next valued community building within the village becomes victim of an additional attack."

Mr Stuchbury added that "there is a pattern growing locally, starting with arson in the town centre in Buckingham", referring to a series of fires over the summer where bins, cars and houses were damaged.

He told the PCC he had "spent the entire evening answering phone calls from alarmed, disturbed and quite angry residents".