ASHAWAY -- Roughly $40,000 to $50,000 worth of damage was inflicted to the Babcock Presbyterian Church last Thursday, when vandals entered the building and, among other actions, turned over the organ, emptied the fire extinguishers, and tossed a filing cabinet off the second floor.
Dr. Rev. Marilyn McNaughton, the church's pastor, said she became aware of the vandalism at 5:50 a.m. following a call from the Hopkinton Police Department. But because she lives 30 minutes away in Ledyard, Conn., the police were looking for someone closer to relay information to as officers were inside the building investigating, she said.
When she arrived to the church on Maxson Street about five hours later, McNaughton saw the damage to the building up close. But she and members of her church weren't able to begin cleaning or moving objects, because they were waiting for the insurance adjuster to come through and assess the damage, which is completely covered by their policy.
They were able to turn over the organ, though, she said. Although, she admitted that it "deeply grieved" her that she wasn't able to right the communion table and several other items.
“We know everything has to be cleaned but we're not sure to what extent what has to be fixed or replaced," McNaughton said. Some objects, she said, are older and dear to the church, so those can only be restored and not replaced.
They will need to purchase a new conference table, though, along with a xerox machine and sound equipment, the latter of which she said was heavily damaged when the vandals emptied the fire extinguishers throughout the church.
As for the extent of the damage, she said she has heard rough numbers of $40,000 to $50,000, but she made it clear that no one is really sure just yet. Those amounts, she added, are very rough.
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