Reverend Ian Weeks inspects the damage to the cross at the Coffs Harbour Uniting Church.
Reverend Ian Weeks inspects the damage to the cross at the Coffs Harbour Uniting Church. Trevor Veale

Cross burned on church's lawn

A COFFS Harbour religious icon has been doused in kerosene and set alight.

And the Uniting Church has no idea who is behind it nor why they did it.

The much-loved old 'rugged cross' at Coffs Harbour's Uniting Church is looking even more rugged after the disturbing attack.

Reverend Ian Weeks arrived for Sunday morning services to find a worrying note from fire officers slipped under the front door.

Dated 11.02pm Saturday, it read: “Persons unknown set the timber cross alight using what smells like kerosene.”

Thanks to a 000 call and the rapid response of fire crews, the flames were extinguished and major damage to church property was avoided.

“The concerning thing is the cross is a symbol of sentimental value to the congregation,” Rev. Weeks said.

“It was made from timber salvaged from the original Coffs Harbour jetty and installed at the church in the early 1980s.

“The cross is an important symbol not only of the congregation's faith, but also of our church's history in the city, and of the city itself.

“We are saddened to think that someone would want to destroy such an iconic landmark in our city centre and particularly to attack such an important religious symbol.”

Rev. Weeks said the Cross held much spiritual and emotional significance for his congregation and would not have to be replaced.

“The cross will remain on the church property, continuing to stand as a symbol of faith in the midst of a broken world,” he said.



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