'Absolutely disgusting': vandals target chapel after music store

HEARTLESS vandals have struck for the second time in as many days, smashing windows at the Macquarie Homes Chapel at Macquarie Care Centre.

A maintenance man arrived at the chapel on Wednesday morning to find that four windows had been smashed.

It came just a day after Harmonikos Music owner Cath Snitch arrived at her Bentinck Street store to find a huge hole had been smashed in one of the windows.

Macquarie Care Centre Auxiliary president Beverley Stuart said she was extremely disappointed when she heard the news.

“This behaviour is absolutely disgusting,” she said.

“It is just dreadful.

“It is such a shame. It is such a beautiful chapel that the residents just love.”

Mrs Stuart said the incident had occurred ahead of an ecumenical Easter service which was held at the chapel yesterday.

She said the church had been cleaned up and the windows boarded up so the service could take place at 10.30am. 

“People were very disappointed. The older generation just cannot believe that younger generations are doing these things; it is beyond their belief.”

The chapel, built using funds raised by the auxiliary, opened in 1978. 

Mrs Stuart said the auxiliary would be footing the $1200 bill to replace the four windows using money raised to fund items and activities for the residents. 

“The money we raise usually comes from selling raffle tickets,” she said. “It is for anything residents need to make their life easier.”

Catholic Healthcare general manager Anne Maree Hodgson was disappointed to learn of the damage.

“The chapel is used for ecumenical services for the local community. Fortunately, the service planned today was able to proceed,” Ms Hodgson said.

Chifley Local Area Command crime manager detective inspector Luke Rankin said such incidents of vandalism were, unfortunately, not unusual.

He said the number of vandalism incidents reported to police in recent weeks was not out of the ordinary.

Data released by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research last week revealed the number of malicious damage incidents reported to police in Bathurst rose from 545 in 2012 to 614 in 2013.

However, the data also showed an overall drop of 26.2 per cent in the number of malicious damage incidents reported to Bathurst police over the past five years, from 832 cases in 2008 to 614 cases in 2013.

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