Coutts Crossing Union Church chairman Gerald Hay looks out through one of the broken windows at the church hall.
Coutts Crossing Union Church chairman Gerald Hay looks out through one of the broken windows at the church hall.

Vandals attack church

IT’S supposed to represent a place of holiness and peace, but the Coutts Crossing Union Church was the target of a destructive force last weekend.

The church and its hall on Armidale Road had seven window panes smashed some time last weekend, rendering the usually neat and well-kept buildings a mess.

Coutts Crossing Union Church chairman Gerald Hay received a phone call Monday morning to inform him of the damage.

Upon seeing the destruction, which included five smashed window panes in the church and two in the church hall behind it, Mr Hay said he felt ‘shocked and disgusted’.

“It must have been hit with force as there was glass right to the other side of the wall (inside),” he said.

“It was such a mess – there was glass all over the church floor.”

Mr Hay said he also discovered the objects used to commit the vandalism – a golf ball and a partly-eaten apple in the church, and a rock in the hall.

“It’s a shame that people stoop so low to damage property,” he said.

“There’s no need for it.”

Sadly, the patterned panes of glass, which have been part of the church since it was built in 1952, are going to be difficult, if not impossible, to replace.

“The glazier told us it’s a bit hard to get now, and quite expensive,” Mr Hay said.

“We’re only a little church. We don’t have many funds available.

“We can’t afford to claim the insurance, but you’ve got to repair it.”

Mr Hay said he and his wife Jeanette often found rum cans and bottles discarded in the church vicinity when they attended prior to their monthly service.

“We were told there was a lot of noise here over the weekend,” he said.

Mrs Hay, who helped clean up the mess, described the act as ‘senseless vandalism’.

“Why would you do it?” she said. “There’s no respect.”

Mr and Mrs Hay said they contacted police from Grafton Station, who were now investigating.

When The Daily Examiner contacted Grafton police yesterday they would not provide comment regarding the incident, citing a policy which states that only a duty officer can speak to the media.

However, there was no duty officer available at Grafton or Coffs Harbour stations.

Anyone who might have information regarding the incident should phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Grafton Police on 6642 0222.



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