Glenavy Parish Church has been praised for ‘being the Church’ and serving the community after it opened its parish hall for local people who had been evacuated from their homes last Saturday.
Several residents were asked to leave their homes when a ‘viable pipe bomb’ was discovered outside a property in Main Street in the town around 6pm
Police and Army bomb experts examined the object before it was taken away for further forensic testing, with residents were allowed to return to their homes around 10.45pm.
The vicar of Glenavy, the Rev Linda Cronin, contacted local councillors when she heard about the emergency evacuations, and offered to open St Aidan’s parish hall for anyone needing refuge.
Alliance Party councillor David Honeyford said: “It was brilliant to see the local Church be the Church in the community, offering your facilities to those families temporarily moved out of their homes on Saturday night.
“Without having to be asked, Rev Linda Cronin and St Aidan’s Church of Ireland came forward and opened their facilities to the wider community at their time of need, serving the local community with warm hearts and it was truly appreciated. Thank you!”
Councillor Honeyford added: “Whoever left this pipe bomb in Glenavy clearly cared nothing about the local community. A number of people, including children, walked past this viable explosive device, which could have gone off with devastating consequences.”
Det Con Chris Simpson of the PSNI said that it was fortunate no-one had been injured in what he described as a ‘reckless attack,’ and appealed for anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area to contact police.