CCTV cameras have been put up outside a church in Lymm hit by vandalism and suspicion of drug taking.

Criminal damage has happened at various times at St Mary’s over the past year with benches and urns in the porch destroyed and empty packets of suspected drugs found.

There has also been some minor damage to other areas around the church.

A spokesman said: “St Mary’s Lymm has severe financial challenges to maintain the church building and the church hall in the coming years.

“Although people have generously donated and there is still an intention to have gates to the porch at some point, the funding gap and the requirements to apply for faculty permission means this will not happen for some time.

“Gates only protect the porch but do not help in protecting other parts of the building.

“St Mary’s has always been at the heart of Lymm, especially with the relationships the Rector of St Mary’s Reverend Beverley Jameson has built with schools and the wider community.”

Now the church has been boosted by Paul Widdrington managing director of Lymm firm DSIS solutions, which has provided CCTV cameras at various locations around St Mary’s (including inside the porch) for free.

He said “I took offence at hoodlums targeting St Marys and damaging a place of worship multiple times.

“We have family and friends laid to rest in the church yard which made it feel closer to home. It is sad that a mindless minority can cause these issues anywhere let alone a church. Let’s hope the cameras deter any further vandalism”

“Rev Beverley Jameson, rector, said: “I cannot express my thanks and the thanks of everyone at St Mary’s highly enough to Paul and everyone at DSIS Solutions for this generous donation.

“To see our church damaged and disrespected was very distressing to our congregation and many members of the wider Lymm community.

“It also goes to show that the wonderful community of Lymm cares and supports one another.

“We have the appropriate permissions and policies in place and the cameras are operational to record activity around the church. We will have evidence to pass onto the police should any future vandalism occur.

“However I pray that the presence of CCTV will deter any further damage”