‘Deplorable’ vandalism in local church

Police in Carrickfergus are appealing for information following a vandalism attack at Downshire Presbyterian Church over the weekend.

Considerable damage was caused to flooring and audio visual cabling was stolen from the Victoria Road building during the incident.

It is understood that bleach was poured over furnishings, curtains and audio equipment, while a number of chairs were also damaged.

It is thought the break-in took place some time between Saturday and Sunday, with the Sunday service relocated to the church hall as a result.

The church had just concluded its holiday Bible club for children on Friday evening.

Speaking to the Times on Monday, Carrick Alderman Jim Brown called the incident a “deplorable” act of vandalism. “In many respects this is an attack on religious worship,” he added.

“My thoughts go out to the minister and the congregation. Most of them did not know about the attack until Sunday morning so it was not a pleasant thing to be met with.

“I would appeal for anyone with information to get in contact with police; certainly we have to be careful in our churches if this is something that is going to be orchestrated in our community.”

Anyone who noticed any suspicious activity at the church, or anyone with information on the incident itself, is urged to contact police on the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively, those who wish to provide information without giving their details can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.