BY Peter Diamond | August 30 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

christ the king

Parish spirit displayed as Catholics work to restore damage following church hall robbery

A church community in Motherwell Diocese has shown its robust parish spirit following a break-in at their church hall, where youths smashed windows and stole a moneybox.

Christ the King parish hall in Holytown was broken in to on the evening of Tuesday August 20, causing significant damage to the building.

Within a day of the vandalism a JustGiving page was launched to raise funds for the repairs and within four days the community had raised £632.

Tam Dobbin, caretaker of Christ the King parish hall, said: “Three youngsters pulled the grid off the wall guarding the toilet window.

Stolen moneybox

“They then smashed the window, which set off the alarm and then one of the boys made off before the other two entered through the smashed window.

“They tried to kick in the door to the bar but only damaged it. However, they then smashed a hole in the wall to the bar and managed to steal a moneybox.

“The pair then got caught in the fire doors on their way out: there are two double doors and they were stuck in between them, however they just kicked their way out, again causing further damage.”

‘Better off’

Mr Dobbin, who volunteers as caretaker for the hall and works as a taxi driver, said the parish has ended up ‘better off’ as a result of the break-in as they now have CCTV.

“Most of the repairs took place within the first few days and we are just waiting on the glass to be fitted by our handy man Victor. The overall response has been a real showing of community spirit,” he said.

“There has been about four or five of us who have been to the builders merchant and B&Q in the days following the break in and one of the parishioners is an electrician and he came out to see about fitting CCTV onto the building, and within three days it was done.

Strong spirit

“So when the repairs are finished the hall will be better off than it was before the vandalism.”

The church has also installed new bars on the window of the hall and the doors have been fixed.

“We really have all pulled together. The community spirit is still strong here,” Mr Dobbin added.

The church hall hosts dance classes two nights and bingo throughout the week and hosts parties and functions at the weekend.

Re-opened hall

Fr Gerry Haddock, parish priest, hailed the efforts of his parishioners for reacting so well to the vandalism.

“We have a great community here at Christ the King and parishioners have worked hard over the years to not only renovate and reopen the hall but make it busy again and popular with the wider community,” Fr Haddock said

“It was very disappointing to find the hall had been vandalised and I know it was very frustrating for the committee members who volunteer their own time but thankfully it looks as if most of the repairs have been made.”

Church hall committee

Christ the King Church hall had been closed prior to Fr Haddock’s arrival in the parish, but a church hall committee had raised funds to renovate the building.

“The parish community reaction has been marvellous,” Fr Haddock said.

“It’s a two way thing, because the hall provides income and the committee’s great work has helped eradicate a lot of the parish debt.

“The other strand is that the hall provides a popular service and venue for the wider community.”

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