Priests urged to be on their guard with cash
Chancellor of the Sydney Archdiocese, Fr John Usher, has warned priests and parish helpers to be more vigilant in managing money kept on the parish site, following a spate of robberies in Anglican churches.
The Catholic Weekly reports that a criminal gang is being blamed for a wave of burglaries which has resulted in the theft of sound and visual equipment, smashed locks and safes being ripped from walls in Anglican parishes across Sydney.
Fr Usher says as far as he knows the Catholic Church hasn't been victim of this criminal gang.
However, he says, "it's a good warning for us not to get complacent".
"Churches are an easy target, mainly because we carry cash," he said. "Priests and parish helpers need to be particularly vigilant in managing the monies that are kept on a parish site, and the money should be banked as soon as feasible.
"People shouldn't carry large sums of money around the church grounds on their own, and they need to make sure that they are accompanied by someone else."
He added: "Even when the money is being moved from a secure place to the bank, there still needs to be a particular vigilance about that.
The chancellor says it is feasible in large parishes that hold substantial amounts of cash to investigate the possibility of depositing the money in the bank through security companies straight after Sunday Mass.
"Where that's not feasible or possible, I just think that the movement of cash from one site to another ought to be done with great care and not with a sense of routine where people know that it is moving," he said.
Priests urged to be on their guard with cash (Catholic Weekly 18/9/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Sydney
Anglican Diocese of Sydney
Gang targets churches (Southern Cross 2/9/05)
19 Sep 2005