North Delta’s Crossroads United Church. (James Smith photo)

B.C. church defaced with disturbing anti-Christian graffiti

Staff at Crossroads United Church reported the vandalism to police late last week

Delta Police are investigating after a local church was vandalized with anti-Christian graffiti.

Maintenance chair Bryan Hodgins discovered the disturbing message scrawled on the side of Crossroads United Church on the morning of Nov. 10. Hodgins immediately contacted police and took pictures of the graffiti that read “Kill All Christans (sic) — god is not real.”

“It’s very disturbing, especially for a lot of our older parishioners who have to walk by this thing to get into the church,” Hodgins said. “In light of things like [the shooting in] Texas this last week, you hope it’s a harmless prank but who knows?”

On Nov. 5 a 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and injuring 20 others.

“I think the concern here is just given what kind of events are happening in the world these days, particularly the actual shooting in Texas of people in a church, that kind of hate speech — it’s hate speech, there’s no other word for it — is particularly concerning,” said Rev. Cari Copeman-Haynes, lead minister at Crossroads United Church.

“You think about all the good this congregation is doing in the community … it’s a pretty stark response to what we consider a positive presence for people who are struggling in our community.”

The incident was the second time in a week that the church had been vandalized, with both incidents occurring on the exact same patch of the sanctuary’s curved wall. However, Copeman-Haynes said, the previous incident was a smaller, more generic tagging.

“Even though we were trying valiantly to get it off of the concrete wall, it provided enough of an invitation to whoever this person was to really expand both the square footage and take the message in a way more malevolent direction,” she said.

Copeman-Haynes has been a minister at Crossroads for nine years, and six before that when the congregation was known as St. John’s-Strawberry Hill, and said she’s never seen vandalism of this nature that at the church.

“I think there may have been more of the tagging kind of graffiti in that earlier era. Since we’ve been Crossroads there’s been nothing like that at all until this moment,” she said. “It’s indicative of the kind of polarization and intolerance and anxiety, for want of a better word, just generalized anxiety and blame that is kind of the public conversation.”

Delta Police public affairs coordinator Sharlene Brooks said in an email that the vandalism at Crossroads appears to be an isolated incident, adding she couldn’t recall anything of a similar nature occurring in the recent past. Brooks said police have yet to identify any suspects but are monitoring to see if similar incidents occur elsewhere.

The paint used is sticking rather tenaciously to the raw concrete wall and Hodgins said he’s having a hard time removing the graffiti. On top of that, tape and the like don’t stay on the wall long, making it impossible to temporarily cover up the offending message.

Hodgins is waiting for an assessment from a professional graffiti removal company, but failing that the only remedy would be to paint over that part of the wall. Regardless, he said, getting rid of the graffiti will likely end up costing the church thousands of dollars.

“Putting it in real terms it’s probably going to cost several of our community dinners — not that we’d cancel the community dinners, but the cost will be equivalent to putting on at least one or two of them,” he said. “It’s not a harmless prank; there are victims.”



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Pick all your apples and save the bears

As summer ends, bears become more active looking for food

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

B.C. Premier announces fall election

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka reacts to election announcement

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Most Read