MINDLESS acts of vandalism marred preparations for Remembrance Sunday in Shottermill and Lynchmere.

Lynchmere Parish Council had to act swiftly when the cross on the war memorial at Shottermill Ponds was almost broken off.

The damage was reported to the council by a parishioner on October 29.

Parish council clerk Kate Bain said: “It looked as if someone had tried to swing off it.

“The damage was done just before the Remembrance Sunday civic service and we had very little time to get it fixed.

“Luckily a local stonemason was able to repair the cross a few days before the ceremony.

“We reported it to the police. Lynchmere Parish Council will have to cover the cost out of public funds.”

Vandals also struck just up the road at St Stephen’s Church in Wey Hill.

Glass panes in the back entrance were broken with such force it had twisted the lead containing them.

The damage was to the back entrance, which is used by the congregation to get to the war memorial.

St Stephen’s reported the incident to the police and will now need to get three quotes from craftsmen recommended by Guildford Diocese.

Church administrator Julie Fox said: “We had to clear broken glass from our porch windows just before the Remembrance Service.

“The repairs to these leaded windows is costly and requires skilled craftsmen to restore.

“This puts a huge financial strain on our already limited funds as we strive to maintain the church as a welcoming and safe place for our community.

“We would like to ask that local residents be vigilant and report to us any acts of anti-social behaviour and vandalism at the church to the office.

“We have had a few issues before with youths using the back entrance as a meeting place.

“It’s an ongoing problem and we try to keep on top of it.

“We usually find litter there and were not expecting to be greeted with lots of broken glass.”

Responding to the vandalism at St Stephen’s, Haslemere mayor John Robini said: “We all deeply regret this mindless act of vandalism and the cost of repair and any effect it may have had on the Remembrance services.

“We need a good solid police force to detect and deter the people who commit these crimes.

“I would ask anyone with information to call the police on 101.”