Relief on the way for Broken Hill after break in
After a break in earlier in the year, Broken Hill’s Wesley Uniting Church is getting some relief.
On 17 January, the church was the victim of a break and enter that left the congregation “puzzled”. Nothing was stolen despite there being valuables in the church.
However, pews were knocked over and the church’s recently-restored stained glass windows were badly damaged during the break in. The damage is expected to cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Congregants called the police and the building has been dusted for fingerprints.
The church has received some reprieve, however, as volunteers from a nearby Anglican Church and Churches of Christ cleaned up the building.
According to a post on the church’s Facebook page, the stained glass will be repaired soon.
Adelaide Artistic Glass’ Frans Kat will remove the windows and transport them back to his workshop for repair. Mr Kat previously repaired, re-leaded, and restored the windows in 2018.
One of the windows, first installed in 1927, included the names of Broken Hill locals who passed away during war.
Rev. David Shrimpton is the Flying Padre of the Uniting Church’s Far West Area Patrol and a member of the Broken Hill congregation. He told local newspaper Barrier Truth the situation was disappointing and puzzling.
“Although it is not up to us to question why, but just to get on with the job,” Rev. Shrimpton said.
“I don’t believe it is kids that did this because the stuff that has been thrown around is heavy stuff.”
Church Council’s chairperson Shelley Forrest told the ABC the congregation was frustrated by the damage.
“We just sort of can’t come to terms with it at the moment,” she said.
“We’re people of forgiveness, we don’t harbour any grudges, but it just makes you a little angry.”
However, she said the congregation hoped to sit down with the people who carried out the damage to work out what their motivation was.
The church was first built in 1888.
Image credit: Bill Ormonde, ABC Broken Hill