40 Acts initiative inspires Angie and Ann to tackle ‘cruel’ graffiti

40 Acts of kindness.

40 Acts of kindness. - Credit: Archant

A pair of churchgoers took it upon themselves to whitewash over ‘cruel’ graffiti on a long-empty Sidmouth shop as part of a drive to do good this Lent.

Ten minutes was all it took for Angie Carney and Ann Worthington to paint over the unsightly vandalism on the former SES stationers building.

The duo were inspired by the 40 Acts challenge – 40 days of giving back, doing good and living generously in the run-up to Easter.

“When the graffiti first went up I thought it was awful,” said Angie.

“Then it went up again and I got used to it being there.

“Day four of the challenge was to clean something. It reminded me of my first reaction [to the graffiti] – it was quite cruel.

“The building is really unsightly but I don’t think it’s [the graffiti] appropriate.

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“It reflected badly on Sidmouth that we were happy to leave something so ugly for the world to see.

“It was so simple to paint over it.”

The former stationery shop in High Street has been vacant since it closed a decade ago.

It had been targeted by vandals before - it was daubed with graffiti on more than one occasion last year.

A new owner, who wished to remain anonymous, was revealed to have bought the premises in September.

A planning application was then submitted for the shop and included a revamped frontage and a three-storey side extension to accommodate access for first and second floor flats.

Proposals gave no indication of the type of business that may occupy the outlet, but did confirm it would once again be used for commercial retail purposes.

The application is currently awaiting a decision by East Devon District Council.