I am sorry but this week’s column is going to be a rant because somebody needs to rant about it.

I am also worried that I am channelling my father, who was a Sergeant Major in the war, when I find myself muttering: “Bring back National Service and corporal punishment.”

We had a story last week about a beautiful and historic village church that was vandalised by scum.

There was no reason for it but they left a trail of destruction that totally shocked residents.

Framed pictures were trashed, hymn and prayer books ripped apart and even children’s games destroyed. A lectern was toppled over and green paint daubed over the walls.

The only thing that made even an iota of sense was that these low lives stole knives. I say it made sense because, although you wonder what on earth they were going to do with the knives, at least they gained something.

I guess I am old enough and traditional enough to be horrified by the fact that this was done in a church. Churches are places of worship and sanctuary. They are holy places. I suppose if you have no belief system, the religious aspect wouldn’t bother you.

But what is there to gain from senseless, stupid vandalism?

I am 69 so it was a long time ago that I was a teenager. Anyway, since I spent about nine months of the year in a strict convent boarding school we didn’t have much chance to get up to anything.

But even if we had opportunity, I doubt any of us would have thought about senseless vandalism.

We used to do stupid things like going out in boats hippo hunting, armed only with pop or beer bottles.

We used to gather in “gangs” and play loud music (although only tape recorders, portable record players or transistor radios). They weren’t easy enough to carry to be a major problem.

We used to hang out in cafés and waste all our money on the jukebox. Some of us sneaked cigarettes and some of us tried alcohol.

We were full of mischief. We saw ourselves as rebels. The older generation just weren’t cool. We might have talked big, but if someone from that older generation had approached us we would have scattered. We would mutter amongst ourselves but there would be little danger of us hurling any cheek at them.

And it never occurred to us to wantonly damage anyone else’s property.

How many times nowadays do people hesitate to do something because “it will just be vandalised”?

I truly don’t know the answer so it might be just as well to end on a positive:

Within two days of an appeal going out, more than £400 had been raised by the people of Little Broughton to repair the damage to their church.

It is that community spirit that restores your faith in people. And, by the way, in this job I also meet so many young people doing great things. Thank you to those ones.