A HAYES vicar has spoken of his ordeal after being involved in a street robbery following mass.
Father Peter Homewood, parish priest at St Mary's Church, was robbed by two teenage yobs last Tuesday (March 9) evening as he made his way down Church Road, Hayes, towards Dr Tripletts School, in Bury Avenue, where he was attending a governor's meeting.
He was wearing his Cassock, the traditional clerical dress, when he was approached and asked for the time by the two youths. When he refused to give the pair cigarettes, he was pushed to the ground and forcefully subdued.
They made off with the clergyman's money and cigarettes, and headed in the direction of St Mary's.
Paramedics attended the scene and treated him for minor injuries at a nearby Ambulance station.
Father Homewood said that he still felt shaken but vowed that it would not impinge upon his duties as a man of the cloth.
He said: "It was very unpleasant and I still feel a bit wobbly, but I am the parish priest in the area and I am not going to stop being identified.
"These lads had absolutely no fear - they strolled off as if nothing had happened but by the time the police got there, they were long gone.
"There was a time when, as a priest, you could walk around anywhere and not fear for your safety. Nowadays it seems that we are targets. I have heard of a number of incidents against clergymen in the borough. It's a sad state of affairs."
The two suspects are described as white males, aged between 18 – 22. Both were wearing hoodies and said to be approximately 5'8".
If you have any information about this incident, call DC Kate McDuff at Hillingdon Police on 0208 246 1445, or you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.