Lincoln chapel desecrated by ex-student

first_imgA former student of Lincoln College entered the college’s chapel,disrupted the altar dressing and shouted  abuse at the choir who were rehearsing. The incidienttook place at around 4pm last Sunday.Choir member Helena Wilde said thatthe woman “suddenly stormed in, looking very angry and purposeful”. Shecontinued, “She walked straight past us towards the altar, so we all assumedshe was a chapel warden, perhaps coming to set up for evensong.”The woman’s behaviour started to arousethe suspicion of the choir as she proceeded to noisily rearrange the candles andthe cross which were placed on the altar, before throwing them and the altarcloth onto the chapel pulpit. She then approached an electric keyboard in themiddle of the chapel which Senior Organ Scholar Paul Wingfield was using forthe rehearsal.Wilde recalled that she “bangedher hands down on the keyboard to make a terrible sound then shouted ‘My parentsgot married in this chapel’”. As she left through the antechapel the womanclosed the heavy wooden inner chapel doors, which normally remain open at alltimes. She said “Burn in Hell, you Catholic” to the Organ Scholar who was bythe organ in the antechapel at the time. She then slammed the outer chapeldoors.Fourth year Lincoln chorister Johnny Shipley followed thewoman out of the chapel to the front entrance of the college, where she wasattempting to shut the main college doors behind her. Shipley said that hetried to “reason with her” but she responded with confused comments, including theremark “Where’s Oliver Cromwell when you need a war?”The conversation continued on Turl Street, whereher comments to Shipley indicated that she was a former Lincoln student. “She said something aboutnot being allowed to sit Finals, and something about  medication,” Shipley said. The woman, who someof the members of choir estimated to be in her mid-twenties, also revealed heridentity when asked by Shipley.Lincoln College declined to disclose theidentity of the woman in the interests of her personal welfare. The woman hadtried to gain entrance to Lincolnat around 9.30pm on Saturday night. She asked at the porter’s lodge if shecould enter the chapel but, as it was after visiting hours, she was deniedentry. When she returned the following afternoon, porter Rohan Ramdeen said hehad no reason to suspect her intentions and allowed her to enter. Thecollege porters have now been made aware of the woman’s identity and willrefuse her entry if she attempts to make further visits to the college. Lincoln JCR President Ollie Munn said,“I was obviously concerned for the students involved but it seems that no one was hurt and thatnothing was badly damaged.” Choir members described the incident as  surreal” and Wilde admitted that they “wereall quite scared when it happened”. Chaplain George  Westhaver said that he did not think theincident had been “a cause of lasting distress” and confirmed that no chargesare being levelled against the woman as she did “no damage at all”. He added “puttingthings back in place took two minutes.”ARCHIVE: 3rd week MT 2005last_img read more