Gardai are investigating a break-in at St Finian’s Church of Ireland in Greencastle, during which a cross was stolen. The incident’s believed to have happened sometime on Thursday night or Friday morning when it appears an intruder or intruders forced open the door into the vestry at the rear of the building.
The break-in was discovered on Friday by two members of the congregation. On Sunday morning, the Bishop’s Curate-in-Charge of the Grouped Parishes of Moville Union, Donagh, Culdaff and Cloncha (Malin), Rev Suzanne Cousins, led prayers for whoever was responsible at the regular Service of Morning Prayer in St Finian’s.
“The congregation asked God’s blessing on them,” Rev Cousins said afterwards, “and asked that the symbol of the cross would be a reminder to them of God’s deep and wonderful love, shown through Jesus’ coming to us, his death for us, and his resurrection which saves us.
“In the grand scheme of things,” she said, “this is a small incident. No physical damage was done to any person or to the church building or furniture, and for this we are thankful. However, the incident is unsettling and disappointing for the parishioners.”
St Finian’s, which overlooks the fishing port of Greencastle in north Inishowen, is a pre-disestablishment church and the oldest of the five churches in the Moville group of parishes.
“It would be best for everyone if the person or persons responsible quietly came forward and returned the cross,” Rev Cousins said. She thanked gardai for their response to the incident and confirmed that officers had taken materials away from the church to help their investigation.
On a positive note, Rev Cousins said, another parishioner had offered to donate a replacement cross if the original wasn’t found or returned soon. “For this, we are very grateful and quite moved,” she said.
“We’re also grateful to our bishop, Rt Rev Ken Good, to the Archdeacon of Raphoe, Ven. David Huss, and to the Archdeacon of Derry, Ven. Robert Miller, who have kindly conveyed to the parishioners their prayerful support and offered to help in any way they can. Thank you on behalf of the parish for all the prayers and expressions of support.”