The West

Shock after historic church smash
Shock after historic church smash

A community has been left shocked after a car crashed into one of the State’s oldest churches, knocking out a wall and destroying hundred-plus year old artefacts.

A male driver allegedly crashed his car into St Nicholas Anglican Church on Paris Road in Australind about 11pm last Tuesday.

Father Brian Newing said he had seen people in tears as they walked past the damaged building.

“I’m pretty devastated — we just had a busy bee on Saturday to clean it all up and make it look presentable,” Fr Newing said.

The building was constructed in 1842 by Marshall Waller Clifton and served as a house and a place of worship for Quakers before being purchased by the Anglican Diocese in 1915.

It was most recently used for special services, including baptisms.

It was listed on the State Register of Heritage Places in 2009 and recorded by the National Trust in 1972.

Heritage Minister and Bunbury MLA John Castrilli said initial assessments suggested like-for-like repairs would be possible without being referred to the Heritage Council.

“I visited the church on Thursday and was very saddened at the extent of the damage, as are many local people,” he said.

“It’s a small church with a very big role in our local history and like everyone else, I am keen to see it restored as quickly as possible.”

Australind Police Sgt Brett Cassidy said police had located the driver of the vehicle and were making a decision on whether to press charges.

He said the driver allegedly fled the scene after the crash.

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