MARYSVILLE – The food pantry at St. John’s Episcopal Church is normally open two days a week for people in need but now, there’s a sign posted on the door saying the pantry will be closed until April for repairs after burglars caused thousands of dollars in damage.
“My initial reaction when I saw the church was broken into was sadness,” said Rev. Kevin Phillips.
A broken gate along with a damaged side door are still visible at the church in after vandals broke in Thursday night.
“For that to happen before the first Sunday of lent, it’s kind of ironic,” said Jan Caselli.
Caselli has been a parishioner at the church for four decades.
She’s now in charge of the church’s clothing donation center, right next to the food pantry.
“They had cupboards open, shelves open in that closet the safe was open,” said Caselli.
Caselli says the thief broke a window, tossed around papers, broke into a safe and left a mess – but one part of the church was spared.
“The sacred altar was not touched, nothing was taken, so we are very happy about that,” she said.
Thankfully, the church recently made a deposit so only $20 was left inside a donation box that was taken.
Now, Phillips is working to make repairs.
“The goal is to get the church secure again so we can return to doing our primary ministry, the food pantry, feeding the people in our neighborhood,” he said.
Caselli says despite what happened Thursday, church members are focused on celebrating their Christian faith.
“On Sunday morning it’s going to be very special, very special that I guess things could have been worse,” Caselli said.
Phillips says the church is considering adding surveillance cameras.
If you have information on this break-in, contact Marysville police.