by Timothy Elphick
THE statue of the Virgin and Child at the Catholic shrine in Walsingham, which is carried aloft at major pilgrimages twice a year, was attacked by vandals this week.
The statue was pulled off its perch at the back of the Slipper Chapel at Walsingham, in Norfolk, and was found lying on
the tiled floor of the 14th-century building on Saturday night.
The golden crown of Our Lady was bent as the sculpture crashed to the ground. The hands of the wooden figures cracked and the chair on which holy pair are seated splintered at the back.
"We can only conclude that this was done by someone who was a bit unbalanced over
religious matters," said the Revd John Hawkes, assistant director of the shrine.
Security at the shrine is now under review. Two years ago thieves stole the statue's golden crown, which was later replaced.
The statue was made in 1954 in replica of a design taken from the medieval seal of Walsingham Priory.