Oxford, England, March 14, 2022
The Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Oxford, England, was broken into and ransacked on Saturday morning.
The holy altar was especially damaged, with various holy items desecrated and stolen. Thankfully, the Holy Gifts themselves were left undisturbed, the church reports.
The church is a parish of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Sourozh Diocese, and is the latest in a rash of attacks against Russian Orthodox churches since the beginning of the fratricidal war in Ukraine last month.
Ironically, donations collected to support Ukrainian refugees were also stolen.
Parish rector Archpriest Stephen Platt writes:
I am sorry to announce that during the early hours of Saturday 12th March, the Church of St Nicholas the Wonderworker in Oxford suffered a break-in. A great deal of damage was done, the holy altar was ransacked, and various objects were stolen, including holy relics, crosses and altar vessels. Fortunately, although the holy table was interfered with, the antimension and the tabernacle containing the Holy Gifts were left undisturbed. The church safe and money boxes were forced open with violence, and the proceeds of a collection to support refugees from Ukraine was stolen. The church bookstall was burgled and stock taken.
The police have been informed and are making investigations.
Please keep our church and our parish in your prayers.
Parishioners rallied around the church and managed to clean up the mess so they could have their regular weekend services.
Yesterday, Fr. Stephen reported that more than $10,400 (£8,000) had been donated to the church via Facebook, which “means that our collection to help refugees from Ukraine has now been greatly augmented.”
Two Russian Orthodox churches in Canada were vandalized with red paint in late February and early March, and even a Ukrainian church in Chicago was vandalized and burglarized over the weekend.
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