29 November 2016

Vandals trash St Paul's Anglican Church, Port Adelaide

For goodness sake, this is church — who’d do this?

Vandals have trashed a memorial garden at a Port Adelaide church, urinating on people’s ashes, smashing Christmas lights and damaging its war memorial.
St Paul’s Anglican Church parish secretary Cheryl Cates said she felt sickened when she arrived at the church on Sunday, the day after Port Adelaide’s Christmas Pageant, to discover the damage.
“I saw that somebody had put graffiti on our memorial garden seat and left empty pizza boxes there,” Mrs Cates said.
“They had also broken the bottom of one of the climbing rose arches and urinated in the garden.
“Parishioners’ loved ones’ ashes have been interred in the garden.”
Christmas lights that were on trees in the garden and the entrance to the church were also damaged.
And the brass containing names of deceased loved ones was scratched.
“I am so angry and hurt that this has happened,” Mrs Cates said.
She said the damage had been reported to the police and that one of the officers who attended was a veteran who was furious at such disrespect.

The attack comes less than two weeks before the start of the church’s annual Christmas Tree Festival on 2 December 2016, which showcases trees decorated by local children.

 “We are not sure whether we will now have the time or the money to be able to replace those lights at the front of the church in the pine trees,” Mrs Cates said.
She said even if the festival had to be scaled down, it would still go ahead.
“We have 20 trees that have been donated from schools and childcare centres,” she said.
“We cannot let them down, no, it will go ahead.
“We have tried to get the graffiti off the seat and will have to purchase whatever it takes to get if off.
“The arch will have to be replaced at a couple of hundred dollars.”
She said Port Adelaide Enfield Council had given the church a $3000 grant for the festival, however most of it had already been spent.
“(The repairs) will have to come out of church funds, of which we do not just have,” Mrs Cates said.
Mayor Gary Johanson was disgusted by the incident.
“It is a terrible shocking thing to happen to such a beautiful church,” he said.
“If they want to start a fundraiser I will be the first to put my hand up.”

How you can help:

If you would like to make a donation to assist with the cost of repairs, cheques can be made out to “The Anglican Parish of Port Adelaide”. Direct deposits can also be made online.

Account Name: The Anglican Parish of Port Adelaide
BSB Number: 705 077
Account Number: 00000162

Ashleigh Pisani, Portside Messenger
25 November 2016


  1. Sacrilege is a very serious crime. It challenges not just property, but peoples' essential humanity.
    How we treat our dead; how we respect what we hold of value...is what makes society human.

    1. I have made a donation to St Paul's to help them make repairs.