A BANNER proclaiming support for refugees has been stolen from one of Bendigo’s most prominent places of worship for the second time.
Thieves stole a banner reading ‘Let’s Fully Welcome Refugees’ from the front outside wall of St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral on Myers Street late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.
Dean of the cathedral, the Very Reverend John Roundhill, said the offenders would have needed a spanner and a ladder to remove the banner, so it must have been a planned, deliberate act.
“I was naturally surprised, and if I’m honest, angry,” Mr Roundhill said.
“I’m angry someone is trying to stop us having our voice, but we will not be silenced.
“The role of the church is to be a voice for the voiceless.”
He said the cathedral had advocated for the rights of refugees and minorities for some time.
“Not everyone agrees that we should be treating refugees with dignity, and we think we should, we think Australia should welcome refugees,” Mr Roundhill said.
It is not the first time thieves have committed such a crime against the cathedral: early last year a near-identical banner, smaller in size, was taken and never recovered.
The one stolen overnight replaced the first.
Mr Roundhill said the cathedral planned to replace the banner for a second time, this time making it bigger again and placing it higher.
The cathedral is now seeking public support to fund the replacement.
Mr Roundhill said they hoped to raise $1000 to cover the cost of the banner and the made-to-measure clamping mechanism that would attach it to the wall.
He said they also wanted to purchase a camera to monitor the building.