BY STAFF REPORTER
VANDALS have cut down one of the oldest symbols of Christianity in Britain.
Last week Glastonbury locals were shocked to find a stump where the Holy Thorn Tree of Wearyall Hill had been chopped down during the night. The tree has a symbolic importance for Christians in the Britain though it was also venerated by others, because of the legend which linked it to Joseph of Arimathea, the man who buried Jesus’s body with Nicodemus.
According to the medieval legends, St Joseph travelled to Britain with the Holy Grail and a tree sprouted in the place where he put down his staff. Legend has it that Joseph founded the first Christian oratory in Britain. Catholics kept the tree alive when Oliver Cromwell’s Puritans cut it down, by salvaging the roots and taking cuttings from the tree. The tree which was chopped down was replanted from cuttings in 1951. Glastonbury Abbey has a Holy Thorn Tree which is descendant from the tree. The tree is a Hawthorne bush which is believed to flower twice a year at Christmas and at Easter.
Katherine Gorbing, Glastonbury Abbey’s curator said that the vandals “have struck at the heart of Christianity”. Glastonbury town council has offered a reward for anyone who can find the vandals.