Gunmen rob Parishioners at St. Phillips Anglican during Sunday Mass

Gunmen rob Parishioners at St. Phillips Anglican during Sunday Mass

Parishioners at the St. Phillips Anglican Church in Georgetown are saying an extra prayer and giving more thanks on Sunday morning after they were attacked and robbed by three BMX bicycle riding gunmen just as they were beginning Sunday mass.

The incident took place just around 7:25 on Sunday morning (November 2, 2014). According to one member of the Congregation, he was in the Church when he noticed a young man walking through the Church door with a gun in his hand and demanding that those present hand over all of their money and jewellery.

The man said, he pulled back and it was then that he noticed two other gunmen in the yard of the church robbing members as they were arriving. He also recounted to News Source, that none of the gunmen wore any masks and all appeared below the age of 20.

One taxi driver said, he was about to drop off an elderly member of the Church when he noticed the two gunmen in the yard and while he was trying to warn the woman not to leave the car, the gunmen turned their attention on him and robbed him and the woman of their money, jewellery and phones.   IMG_3601

Back inside  the church, the member who spoke to News Source explained that the one bandit who was in the  Church forced parishioners to hand over all of their belongings including their wedding bands and phones. He said it all happened very quickly and he was left in total shock.

The Priest of the St Phillips Anglican Church, Father Oswald Barnes said he was in the vestry when he heard loud shouting coming from inside the church.

According to Father Barnes, “We were just about to begin our morning mass, and I heard a noise outside, so I sent the Deacon, I said go and find out what’s happening out there and he came back quickly saying that there is a robbery taking place. And I heard this  shouting telling people to give me what you got and I couldn’t make out  more of what they were saying, so we just locked ourselves in the vestry and remained there until they went away”.

The Priest said once the gunmen rode away, the Sunday Mass went on and he focused his sermon on the crime situation in the country and the need for change.

“We have descended so low that we can just expect anything now and we have to look and to pray to God for some change in the State of Affairs where we can have a service without being fearful”, Father Barnes said.

He said the situation could have been worse  since there are members of the Congregation who are licensed firearm holders “but we would not have liked anyone to be shot in this Church. The Church is not a place for gun play”.

The Priest said the entire ordeal was very traumatizing.

Before ending their Sunday Mass, some of the Parishioners stood to give testimony and offer thanks for life and also said prayers for the nation. Many of them appeared traumatized by the ordeal as they left mass.

The Guyana Police Force  is  investigating the incident.

The crime situation in the country has been spiralling out of control with the Guyana Police Force reporting that there have been well over 600 armed robberies for the year already and more than 100 gun related murders.

Filed: 2nd November, 2014

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