The Rector of Faughanvale Parish has condemned those responsible for a break-in at the home of an elderly parishioner, which took place while she was attending a religious service in her local church.
The incident happened on Friday evening. The woman was in St Canice’s Church, Eglinton, attending the institution of the parish’s new Rector, Rev Paul Hoey.
The intruders ransacked every room in her home and the break-in was discovered when the woman returned home after the service. She was extremely shaken by the incident and was comforted by other parishioners.
Meanwhile, the Rector of Faughanvale, Rev Paul Hoey, who visited the woman afterwards, has condemned those responsible.
“This was a despicable crime against a devoted member of our parish and this community,” he said.
“Quite apart from the theft, the sense of violation in such incidents can be extremely traumatic for victims, particularly older people.
“Such crimes are deplorable at any time, but it was particularly upsetting for the victim of this incident that her home was broken into while she was in church, attending a service.
“I am grateful that fellow parishioners responded, as Christians should, in such a caring and compassionate way. I have assured the victim that she will have our support and be in our prayers in the days ahead.
“I pray, also, that the person or persons responsible for the break-in will experience a change of heart and see the error of their ways. They, too, need our prayers.
“I appeal for anyone with information about the break-in to give it to the police and I hope that the perpetrators are apprehended as quickly as possible.”
Meanwhile, the PSNI have urged people across the community to be good neighbours, especially with the winter evenings drawing in. They have asked people to be vigilant and to look out for one another, not only regarding possible break-ins but also the general well-being of neighbours.
They have advised people to ring 999 if they have an urgent concern, and to call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to report suspicious activity.