Thank goodness for good Samaritans.
After the Chemainus United Church was targeted by thieves for the third time in less than four years, one of those Samaritans decided to do something to help.
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.
A gentleman arrived at the church last Thursday afternoon after reading the Courier’s on-line article about the incident and asked if he could have some help unloading something from his truck. He found a good set of drums and cymbals on an ‘on-line used’ site and bought them for the church.
”What a lift to experience such spontaneous kindness — our anonymous Samaritan was gracious and wanted no recognition,” noted Helen Stephen, a member of the congregation.
Husband Jamie Stephen is the chairman of the United Church board and finds these continual thefts disheartening and discouraging.
“We are a very modest little community church,” he noted. “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 would have compromised the music program at the church significantly before the goodwill gesture saved the day.
“Music is such a vital part of our ministry as well,” Stephen pointed out.
The culprit or culprits forced their way into the church through a window. Police were notified and a member of the identification department worked most of the morning last Thursday trying to piece together evidence.
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.