A SPATE of broken windows at the Anglican Church in Coonamble is causing the local Parish grief.
There have been three separate window-breaking incidents at the Church in the last six months: on 23 August, 23 October and most recently on 1 November.
The windows that have been broken are towards the back of the Church, in a dark spot hidden from the street.
Whoever broke them has not tried to gain entry to the Church.
“So this is the second time this set of windows has been broken,” said Member of Coonamble Parish Council, Barbara James.
“The first time they just harmed some windows with some small stuff but it’s getting bigger.”
Long-term Minister Jeff Tym retired at the end of September, moving out of the Rectory by the Church.
The Diocese has not yet found someone to replace Mr Tym so there is currently nobody present to watch over the Church.
Ms James believes this could be why there has been an increase in crime recently.
It now falls on Parish members to repair the damage to the Church.
“We’re now left with the responsibility of looking after it and we’re hopeful that the community will help us with this,” said Ms James.
“The church is a spiritual place but it exists in a non-spiritual world and we have to pay bills, maintain all those things that are financial and don’t just happen on their own.”
And there is a significant cost to regularly replacing the broken windows, along with the other finances relating to the everyday management of the Church.
“We noticed the windows had been broken on Sunday and it wasn’t there the Sunday before. We’d only just got them replaced the week before – we can’t keep doing that, of course.”
“I think the last bill was $320-odd.”
Members of the Parish Council and local police believe that the vandals are children.
“We always have young people walking through but we can’t afford cameras,” said Ms James.
“I think it’s just random playfulness. It may be vindictive playfulness but they’re not out for anything, they’re not stealing anything, there’s no purpose to it.”
Ms James hopes that the community can keep an eye out for anything suspicious.
“The fact is, it’s not owned by the community, it’s not a council building but it is part of the community. Anyone in the Parish of Coonamble belongs to the church, whether they come to church or not,” she said.
“Just call the cops if they see anyone in the church yard that shouldn’t be in the church yard.”