Pastor's message to church vandals: 'We still love you'
WARNING: Offensive language in this story
THE lead pastor of a Bundaberg church has spoken out after finding hateful and explicit graffiti sprawled across the side of the building.
Vandals covered St John's Lutheran Church and the Salvation Army Bundaberg Family Store with profane slogans overnight Tuesday, including "suck my d--k” and "f--k God”.
Pastor Wayne George said he had received a call from the principal of the neighbouring primary school about 7am to inform him of the disgusting find.
"It's horrible, heartbreaking and disappointing, especially since I know our community is so much better than that and doesn't deserve to be driving past and reading this rubbish,” Mr George.
In the three year's he's been a member of the church, easily identifiable by it's stunning architecture and blue cross, he said he had never seen vandalism like this.
"This is the first time something, to this degree at least, has happened - we've had smashed windows before, but nothing of this sort in my time at least,” he said.
"It's very disheartening to say the least, in one sense I feel sorry for the person or persons who have done this because some of the sayings just reflect what's going on inside.”
Mr George said some of the vandal's actions felt like a cry for help.
"Somebody says 'life is a prison' so they obviously feel trapped,” he said.
"It's disappointing to know there are people who are struggling out there and they see this as a means of venting and getting it out.
"The reason we're here as a church is to serve our community, love our community and to bring light to darkness, not the other way around.
"To see people actually see the need to do this instead of coming along and talking about it, that's the most disappointing.”
Mr George's message to the people who committed the offence stemmed from genuine concern based on the messages.
"Please be assured that there are no hard feelings ... we forgive, it's part of who we are as a church,” he said.
"We still love you, God still loves you, but if you need help please, please reach out and speak to somebody,”
A Queensland Police Service spokesman confirmed police had gone to the scene, taken photos and were making enquiries.
But there was no visible evidence left at the scene, making it harder to identify the culprits.
"If anyone has witnessed this event please speak to the police,” Mr George said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact local police or Policelink on 131 444.