A South Yorkshire church is on a mission to find ‘Dougy’ – the author of a piece of graffiti dating back 40 years.
The graffiti has been prominent in many wedding photos at St John’s Methodist church in Swinton across the decades – but now the church is to be renovated and ‘Dougy’ could soon be gone.
The Reverend Alistair Sharp now wants to meet the vandal and tell them all is forgiven.
He said: “If I had one message for ‘Dougy’, it’s come back we forgive you.
“It’s become so familiar we hardly notice it now, it’s become part of the furniture.”
Due to the stone work getting a deep clean, the church congregation are eager to meet ‘Dougy’ and give the prominent graffiti an affectionate farewell.
Renovation has already started, but the church has told workers to leave the graffiti until the author comes forward.
Angela Yardey, a member of the church, was married there 26 years ago and the graffiti appeared on her wedding photos.
Instead of getting mad, Angela and her husband James continued to see the funny side.
She said: “I didn’t even notice it until we collected our wedding album, but several of our church youth group got married at around the same time – and ‘Dougy’ shares all of our wedding photos.
“We’ve had so many laughs about Dougy over the years. I’d love to know who he is and it would be brilliant to meet him in person.”
A couple who saw the appeal on social media informed the church their wedding photos had ‘Dougy’ in them in 1975 – meaning Dougy is likely to be aged in his 50s or older.
Mr Sharp said: “If anyone knows who did write ‘Dougy’ on the church door posts, please contact our Facebook page forgiveDougy, or on Twitter #forgiveDougy.
“There will be an edible reward, a warm handshake, and no hard feelings.
“We have learnt we need more than elbow grease to remove our dirt and damage.”