"Totally dumb, horrific". Just some of the words that came to mind for parishioners of St Edward's Catholic Church in Canowindra after they discovered the church had been broken into and vandalised over the weekend.
Inspecting the damage on Tuesday morning parishioner Margaret Wallington described the act as "really nasty stuff".
It is believed the damage was caused sometime between 7pm on Sunday and 7am on Monday.
Historic stations of the cross, a large painting, mirrors, candles and a chair were all damaged.
Crosses and statues were moved and toilet paper strewn around the church.
Police forensics have inspected the scene and taken fingerprints from numerous items.
Some of the most significant damage was caused to a large painting of Jesus of unknown value.
"Some of it is horrific, when you look at the Stations of Cross they've all been slashed, a beautiful painting of Jesus has been slashed, it's got disgusting Hail Satan scratched into it," Ms Wallington said.
A statue of St Patrick was moved and laid on an alter.
"That's hideous in itself," Ms Wallington added.
Chairs were stacked one on top of another for whoever was responsible to scratch the words Hail Satan into the painting of Jesus.
Even with the help of the chairs the person responsible needed to be nearly six foot tall to inflict the damage, prompting Parish Priest Laurie Beath to speculate "it looks like it is someone with a vendetta against Christianity".
The painting was also slashed across Jesus' throat and a large section torn away.
Seven Stations of the Cross paintings sustained significant damage.
"We're in a small community here where most of our parishioners all belong to other community groups where they are helping the community constantly, a small community we share together.
"To think that someone would vandalise and desecrate our worship place is pretty sad," Ms Wallington said.
Anyone with information should contact Cowra Police on 6341 5099 or crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.
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