Minister of burgled church stresses need to help ‘desperate people’ at Christmas

A Christian minister has stressed the importance of looking after people “in desperate situations” after his church was burgled.

The church just outside Antrim town
The church just outside Antrim town

The break-in happened sometime before 7.30pm on Friday night, and police responded to what thery described as some suspicious activity in the area.

Then on Saturday, the PSNI said a man, 43, had been arrested while still inside the church building.

The church is a modern-style Presbyterian one, located on the Greystone Road, just on the edge of Antrim town.

Its minister Rev Jonathan Moxen, speaking to the News Letter on Sunday, said worship had gone ahead in the church as normal, and that nothing had actually been stolen.

He said that there had been some damage caused to a door, and also that the minister’s room of the church (which Rev Moxen has opted not to use during the coronavirus pandemic crisis) had been “messed up”.

Rev Moxen also said that an alarm had gone off in the church, and the man would have heard it – raising the question of why he was still in the church when police pulled up.

Rev Moxen went on to tell the News Letter: “I know it sounds a bit counter-intutitive, but I know at this time of year there are a lot of people who are in very desperate situations.

“And churches try to help, and we should all try and help as much as we can, those who are in need.”

On Sunday the man was charged with burglary, common assault, and criminal damage; he will appear at Antrim Magistrates’ on January 5.

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Alistair Bushe