The congregation of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Grassy Park have been left shocked after the 106-year-old church was burgled in the early hours of February 15, a day after Ash Wednesday.
They are now being forced to tighten their security system after goods worth R50 000 were taken.
Reverend Canon Victor Adams said this was the first time in their history that they have had a break in.
“The burglars forced entry through a small window and took three small flat screen televisions and damaged a big flat screen television.”
WarrantOfficerWynita Kleinsmith, spokesperson for Grassy Park police, said thieves also made of with communion wine, brass chalices and a fire extinguisher. Nobody has been arrested.
“This happened at a time where people start fasting and give up things for Lent. It was a shock to the congregation,” said Reverend Adams.
He said the alarm went off and the security company guards did go to the church but saw nothing suspicious. “They assumed it may have been the wind that triggered the alarm.”
Reverend Adams said the cleaner notified him about the break-in on Thursday. “There is no respect for churches. We have a good relationship with other churches and mosques and we do have a soup kitchen as well. So, we never expected these things to happen.”
David Benjamin, chairperson of Grassy Park Community Police Forum Sector 2, overseeing neighbourhood watches in the area
said, they had not been on
patrol at the church, on the evening of the break-in. “We have limited number of members and because of Ash Wednesday no one was on patrol that day.”
However, Mr Benjamin said: “We know who the naughty guys are in the area.
We do not patrol every night but if we do so it is to the best of our ability. Everyone should be involved with the neighbourhood watch. Some are working people but we encourage the unem-
ployed to be the eyes and ears in the community as there is a WhatsApp chat group to report incidents.”
Wendi Abrahams, one of the parishioners, said: “The moral decay of our society is really reaching rock bottom. It is really sad to think that a place of worship is not respected by these perpetrators. As much as we hate what they did, God is ready to accept them and forgive them. May they be caught and brought to task because it is really unnecessary that the community of Grassy Park has to live in fear of a minority. We must take our fight to the streets and get rid of these perpetrators.”
If you are interested in assisting the church financially or voluntarily, contact Southern Mail and we will put you in touch with the church members.
Anyone with information on crime can call the police at 021 700 3940 or 10111.