Christ Church clergy forgive two church vandals in Derry

Christ Church, Derry Image copyright Diocese of Derry and Raphoe
Image caption The break-in took place on 12 September 2017 at Christ Church in Derry

Clergy at Christ Church in Londonderry have forgiven two men who desecrated the church during a break-in two years ago.

Harry Duffy and James Anthony Kennedy caused damage estimated at £75,000.

They were jailed for two years and eight months on Tuesday. Both serving a portion of their sentence on licence.

Archdeacon Robert Miller and Rev Katie McAteer said they hope the men "can learn from this incident" and "succeed in getting their lives back on track."

The two men smashed through a 19th century stained glass window and also caused extensive damage to the church's organ.

The pair also smeared human excrement inside the church and on pages torn from a bible.

Duffy and Kennedy also admitted to burgling the church and stealing items including a crystal decanter, a surplice and a set of reader's robes.

Image copyright Christ Church
Image caption A 19th century stained glass window was smashed in the attack

In a statement, Archdeacon Robert Miller and Rev Katie McAteer, the pastoral director, said:"We forgive Harry Duffy and James Kennedy for what they did and will be holding them in our prayers.

"We take no pleasure from the significant custodial sentences handed down to the two offenders.

"We do feel, however, that actions have consequences and that all of us should be accountable for our actions before the law."

Image copyright Christ Church
Image caption An estimated £40,000 damage was caused to the church organ

The Archdeacon and Pastoral Director said they have been "blessed and encouraged" by the sympathy and support shown from right across the community - most notably from St Eugene's Roman Catholic Cathedral.

Related Topics

More on this story