Church under attack from vandals

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 20/01/2014
Jacqui Paterson
CHARLOTTE CURD/Fairfax NZ

DISBELIEF: The Reverend Jacqui Paterson is still coming to terms with the damage at Fitzroy's Holy Trinity Church.

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Vandals have broken historic windows at Fitzroy's Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

Five panes of diamond shaped lead light glass windows which adorn the Henui St church have been broken, leaving the parish community confused at the "senseless" and "opportunistic" nature of the act.

Rev Jacqui Paterson said she discovered the damage on Friday morning and reported it to police.

"It's important that people know it's happened," she said.

To her knowledge this was the first time the church had been the victim of vandalism.

Mrs Paterson said the windows may have been part of the original church, which was built in 1845. The church is a registered Category 1 historic building with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

At this stage it was not known if the windows could be repaired.

Mrs Paterson said the incident had been at the forefront of parishioners' minds during their service yesterday.

"We prayed at the start of the service for the whole situation and for the people responsible," she said.

Mrs Paterson said she had taken the vandalism quite personally and in light of the recent arson at New Plymouth's St Philomena's Catholic Church, it had caused her to rethink not only church security but also its vulnerability.

However, she said the church was trying to remain upbeat.

"We acknowledge it is upsetting but we have a lot of positive things that are happening as well," Mrs Paterson said.

A New Plymouth woman has been charged with arson in connection with the fire at St Philomena's Catholic Church and is due to appear in the New Plymouth District Court on January 29.

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