A FRINTON church was ransacked by “deplorable” vandals in a New Year’s Day raid.

The culprits took advantage of the open door policy at St Mary’s Parish Church to walk in and cause havoc.

They smashed open a wooden cabinet containing books and damaged a prayer box, as well as ripping up prayer and hymn books and littering the church with the pages.

Fire extinguishers were also sprayed around the church until they were empty.

It happened on January 1 between 9am and 5pm, while the church was open to the public.

Church warden Peter Wood said: “It looked awful when it was discovered. It was a real mess.

“The people responsible are deplorable really."

Volunteers worked to make sure the church stayed open despite the incident.

It is kept open to the public throughout the week during daylight hours as a resource for residents.

Read the full story in this week's Frinton & Walton Gazette.