Keeping positive . . . House of Breakthrough pastor Damien Goodsir won't let a break-in at the church get him down. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

Pastor Damien Goodsir is not letting abreak-in at House of Breakthrough get him down.
Sometime overnight on November 7, someone broke into the Oamaru church through a bathroom window and burgled its safe.

Mr Goodsir suspected the thief was familiar with the layout of the church — only a few people knew where the safe was, he said.

Nothing else was stolen from the premises, but like other institutions, the church was impacted by Covid-19 and the burglary just ‘‘set them back’’ another week of income.

‘‘But we have good people. They are gems,’’ he said.

Although it was upsetting to be stolen from, the biggest blow was the ‘‘violation’’ of someone breaking in and walking around the church after hours, Mr Goodsir said.

The church tried to do a lot for the community, so tried to think of the theft as a ‘‘self distributing’’ service.

‘‘Instead of getting grumpy, we are praying for them.’’

The sad thing was, if someone came in for help, it would have been given, he said.

The church would implement new security measures, including a security camera system.

‘‘A church is a community building but we need to make sure it’s safe.’’

Since taking over the church two years ago, Mr Goodsir and his team had been working on renovating parts of the church.

In addition to new heating, a children’s hall, and accessibility ramp, three offices and a meeting room were installed on its second level.

That was stage one. Stage two would include the development of a much needed toilet block. The church could seat 600 people and only had two toilets, he said.

Although the church’s capacity was limited to 100 people because of Covid-19 restrictions, it was another step in making the building more ‘‘user friendly’’