FURTHER misery has been poured onto a Cwmbran church which had been forced to close its gates after a spate of vandalism, after human excrement was left on the doorstep.

St Mary's Church in Cwmbran has fallen foul of anti-social behaviour on numerous occasion in recent times.

However, this has been taken to a new low, as Church Warden Paul Austin found that someone had vaulted over the gates and left human excrement on the church steps.

Church Rector, Reverend Nick Parry said that, for the past 18 months to two years, the site had been the target of dog fouling, drug use and vandalism.

"There’s generally a lack of respect from these people," he said.

"They know it’s a church. It looks like a church and there are signs saying it’s a church.

"There isn’t anything we can do unless we catch them in the act.

"It’s disappointing."

St Mary's Church has around 70 people on its electoral roll and its congregation vary in both age and diversity.

He explained that there is a parcel of land around the church which provides access through the church grounds and works as a kind of shortcut.

"For about two years we’ve been having problems with people walking their dogs and leaving dog mess," he said.

"People have also been breaking into the basement area.

"Young people have been congregating behind the church, which we don’t mind, but some of them have started to use drugs on the site.

"It is not a public right of way, so we made the decision to reinstate the gates."