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Vandal smashes antique stained glass church window

A patio stone in the hands of a vandal has proven to be a pain in the panes for St. Andrew's United Church.

Church employees discovered Friday morning someone had thrown a two-kilogram patio stone through one of the church's stained glass windows on the Wesley Street side. The stone smashed  several of the stained glass panes, left a half-metre hole in the window and caused about $1,500 in of damage.

Const. Gary O'Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, called the destruction a senseless act of vandalism.

"The problem [church staff] are faced with now is to match the broken panes with existing stained glass," O'Brien said, in a press release.

St. Andrew's United Church, built in 1893, is one of the city's oldest buildings and most prominent downtown landmarks. It is one of only a few old churches with the sanctuary built diagonally within the structure. The architecture feature makes it a popular venue for concerts and music festivals.

It will be up to the congregation to pay for the damage – the congregation, not the United Church of Canada, owns the building – adding to already costly renovation work, estimated to be about $750,000, which the building has been undergoing and the congregation fundraising for since late 2011.

Police are continuing their investigation.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.

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