Pastor Paul Roggow, from Duncan’s Trinity Lutheran Church on James Street, stands in front of the church while a worker paints over the offence graffiti that covered three of the church’s walls on May 4. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Pastor Paul Roggow, from Duncan’s Trinity Lutheran Church on James Street, stands in front of the church while a worker paints over the offence graffiti that covered three of the church’s walls on May 4. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Duncan church covered in hate-filled graffiti

Incident occurred during the night of March 3

In his more than six years serving as pastor at Duncan’s Trinity Lutheran Church on James Street, Paul Roggow said he has never seen anything like the graffiti that covered three sides of the church Friday morning, put there sometime during the night of March 3.

He said he has seen some small tags and graffiti painted on the church in his time there, but the large curse words condemning Christianity and its symbols and suggestions of sexual violence painted in large black letters were far more disturbing than he has ever seen, and he sensed a lot of anger behind them.

Roggow said the RCMP did remove what appeared to be a homeless person from around the church property that night sometime after 8 p.m., but it’s not known if the person has any connection to the graffiti.

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He said the church had hired security at night during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep an eye on the building and property, but the graffiti was done before security personnel began their shift that night.

Roggow said he believes the incident is a reflection of the growing social issues in the community.

“I think it shows that we can do a lot better as a church, and as a community, with dealing with these issues,” Roggow said as workers moved to quickly paint over the offensive graffiti Friday morning.

“There are so many people living on the streets these days, and there is increased drug use and violence. We need to do more as a society, including us at the church, to help these people. I know that some steps are being taken to help, but we need more steps in the process to find the right solutions.”

Roggow said it will likely cost up to $600 for paint to cover over the graffiti, but the painters are doing the work for free.

The RCMP continue to investigate the incident.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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