Members of St. Ambrose Anglican Church are reeling after the church was broken into on Wednesday night with those responsible causing at least $30,000 in damages, according to a church official.
According to the church’s sexton, Randy Gardiner, and administrative secretary, Cleopatra Albury, whoever is responsible seemed to have a personal disdain for the church.
Albury said the church, which is located on Gladstone Road, was broken into around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“I didn’t touch anything until the police actually got here,” Albury said. “And when we got inside, when we did a walkthrough of the place it was [like], ‘who really does this to a church?’”
When The Guardian visited St. Ambrose yesterday the doors were severely damaged, the glass around the church was smashed, a hole in the fence had been cut and the church’s electrical box had been tampered with cutting power to the building and the church’s cameras.
Albury said she cried when she walked into the church on Thursday.
“It’s sad because...as a criminal you should have some sort of [restraint] to say well ‘ok that’s the church so I’m not going to do that’,” she said. “If I were a criminal I would probably rob anywhere else except the church.”
St. Ambrose may not have Mass on Sunday, said Albury, who noted that officials are simply trying to secure the premises at this point.
Albury said some petty cash; her laptop; the rector’s (Father Dwight Rolle) television and another computer were stolen.
She said those items are worth much less than it will cost to repair the church.
“We plan on getting a higher measure of security because obviously alarms and cameras are not going to be sufficient,” Albury said.
Gardiner said he was hurt when he saw the damage to the church.
“It’s very emotional [and] heartfelt to see it in this condition. [I can’t] believe that someone would take their time to do this amount of damage,” he said. “I believe the individual is bitter [and] I don’t know why.
“If this is what’s going to happen to the church, I’m sad for our society because if you can do the church like this imagine what you can do to anyone’s home.”
However, he said he would invite those responsible to join St. Ambrose and see what the church really has to offer.
“Somehow we’ll forgive them,” he said.