A local priest has spoken of his disappointment that on the last day of Christmas a charity box was stolen near the crib of St Patrick’s Church at
Lisburn’s Chapel Hill.
Details of the theft, on Monday, January 6, have only recently emerged.
Thieves, believed to be in their late teens, entered the church at approximately 4.25pm and made off with a black charity box which contained a sum of cash.
Assistant priest at Chapel Hill, Fr Eamon, said the money was to go towards an orphanage in the Third World.
“There are clear images of the thieves on the security cameras,” he said, “so it is now in the hands of the police, who are taking the incident very seriously.
“It was very disappointing and parishioners have expressed their sorrow that this incident has happened.
“There have been attempts of thefts from collection boxes bolted on the wall in the past but nothing like this.”
Councillor Pat Catney described the thieves as ‘takers’.
“These so called wise men instead of bringing gifts were taking from the church,” said Mr Catney.
“The incident has taken away from the whole Christmas scene. It is terrible. I am annoyed.
“We really had a real busy Christmas at the church and this takes away from that image. The men who built the crib have to be commended.
“It was beautiful and lots of people came into the church just to see it. The day of the theft was the last day that the crib would be there.
“This sort of thing thankfully is very rare but it really angers me that some people come in and take. They are just a bunch of takers.
“We, like every Christian community, offer help to people like those people tho came in and steal. If they are in dire need of help come and see us and we will try to help them in any way we can.
“The people who have done this have nothing to offer society. I hope that the police find them.”
Police at Lisburn are investigating and can be contacted on 0845 600 8000.