Who is targetting the safes at Bethel Methodist Church on Bay Street, The City?
It’s a question left on the lips of office workers at the city church.
The workers told Barbados TODAY the place of worship on Lower Bay Street was now fair game for robbers, who held up and robbed a security guard hired recently after a spate of break-ins.
For the third time in just a year, the church has been hit by burglars, said the workers who did not want to be identified.
Just last month, thieves broke into the church office and botched an attempt at opening a large safe, making off with a smaller one instead, Barbados TODAY has learned.
There was no money in either safe, the workers said.
“It is really a shame that people no longer respect church property,” said a worker. “I want these people to know that we do not keep money here. Every time we get money we take it to the bank. It is really worrying when not even God’s property is safe.”
A damaged floor and steps are evidence of the burglars dragging the safe.
The incident was the latest in a determined effort dating back to last October to crack the church safe.
The crooks dragged the larger safe as far as the churchyard, where they abandoned it.
“They left the safe right there in the churchyard cemetery and we had to get the fire service to cut it open for us so that we could get our things out. So [this] month they came prepared,” another worker told Barbados TODAY.
Last month, the St Martin’s Anglican Church in St Philip was the scene of a daylight arson attack.
Someone set fire to the altar, two kneeling stools and a prayer book, detectives said. There was no damage to any other property. Two fire tenders with seven officers extinguished the flames.
The rector of St Martin’s, Reverend Amrela Massiah, told Barbados TODAY of her fear then that church property was no longer sacred, although she was praying the would-be arsonist would find salvation at the very altar he or she sought to burn down.
“I would like to think that this is not the case [that sacrilege is widespread]. I would like to think that the church is still being seen as a hallowed place for everyone to come and find salvation,” she said then.