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Melbourne congregation flees man wielding crucifix

A man brandishing a crucifix smashed church property in front of horrified worshippers in Melbourne's west on Tuesday.

The Herald-Sun reports that the man, in his 20s, ran into St Margaret Mary's Catholic Church in Spotswood and armed himself with the crucifix during a service just after 11:00 am.

He then damaged ornaments as frightened parishioners fled.

Police called to the church were allegedly threatened during the drama but were able to overpower a man.

Sister Mary Lazzaro said the man was not known to parishioners.

"He was out of control. He was sick," she said.

No one was hurt and the man was last night in police custody.