The Chemainus United Church on Willow Street has been targeted by thieves for the third time in less than four years.
“It is disheartening, so discouraging,” conceded Jamie Stephen, chairman of the United Church board.
This time, a thief or thieves broke into the church either Friday evening, Sept. 5 or Saturday night, Sept. 6 and walked out with a set of five drums, two cymbals and stands for the cymbals.
“We are a very modest little community church,” noted Stephen. “We just can’t sustain the kind of theft that is occurring.”
The church just acquired the set of drums in May of last year from the nearby Cowichan Neighbourhood House. “It’s in really good shape,” Stephen said of the set.
The loss of the drums will compromise the music program at the church significantly.
“Music is such a vital part of our ministry as well,” Stephen pointed out. “We have no way of replacing these right now.”
The culprit or culprits forced their way into the church through a window. Police were notified.
Congregant collections were taken during one of the previous thefts at the church in 2018.
The ironic part for Stephen is the church’s role in the community as a place to help people has been turned around and someone’s decided to make it a target instead.
“With limited resources, we try to do good for others, especially those in need,” he indicated. “Our response to this incident is motivated by the hope of restoration, rather than retribution.”
It is hoped an appeal to the culprit will lead to the drums being returned.
“If the perpetrator doesn’t have a conscience, we’re hoping there’s a witness who knows where they are or has seen them,” Stephen noted.
If anyone knows anything about the theft, they can call and leave a message at the church office (250-246-3463), or contact CrimeStoppers or the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP office.