St. Andrew’s, in Amarillo Texas, which was destroyed by fire in 1996 and rebuilt, reported Thursday morning that the church’s nave had been desecrated.
Vandals allegedly broke in through a window not covered by security cameras.
Once inside, those responsible rendered a security alarm system inoperable, then smashed holes in the altar, broke the processional cross, broke the tabernacle, and scattered holy water and consecrated hosts on the floor. The vandals also caused extensive damage to the baptismal font, made of marble and handcarved in Italy.
An image of the destroyed alarm keypad is found above.
Local police have said they will pursue felony charges against those responsible.
The church has said it will repair all the damage, except for the holes in the altar. Members say they will leave the latter as a reminder of the crucifixion.
Security experts recommend that all control centers and keypads be protected against removal via tamper switches. Additionally, high-risk areas like alarm system keypads and control centers, church altars, the nave, the chancel, the sacristy, and the pipe organ should be protected via motion sensors and, if appropriate, glass break detectors. Alarm signals should be transmitted via multiple means, including land lines, wi-fi, and cellular, with destruction of any component transmitting an immediate alarm signal to a central station.
Those who wish to help are invited to donate via the church’s online giving portal, found at https://secure.myvanco.com/YPDW/campaign/C-13NT6?access=tile_direct
Details of this incident available at https://www.myhighplains.com/news/local-news/st-andrews-episcopal-church-recovering-after-vandalism/