Vandals target newly renovated Burntisland church halls

Vandalism at Burntisland Parish Church halls
Vandalism at Burntisland Parish Church halls
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Callous vandals have defaced the newly renovated halls at Burntisland Parish Church, and spray painted the church gates.

And the “mindless” vandalism has angered members of the church congregation who say the acts were carried out just as work was finishing on a major £50,000 renovation of the halls thanks to money left to the church in a former elder’s will.

Vandalism at Burntisland Parish church halls

Vandalism at Burntisland Parish church halls

The vandalism happened some time between 6.00 p.m. last Wednesday and 8.00 a.m. last Thursday when a member of the congregation went to the halls to let a surveyor in to carry out an inspection on the premises.

A door to the side of the halls was spray painted with ‘666’ while another had a variety of initials on it. A newly painted railing was also sprayed, as was a window ledge and part of the newly painted church gates next to the halls.

Speaking to the Press on Friday morning, the church’s property manager, who did not wish to be named, said: “I had gone down to let the surveyor in when I noticed the damage and I immediately called the police, but we still haven’t had a visit from them.

“There is not a lot of damage, it’s just the annoyance of having finished all this work to improve the church and these mindless people come along and spoil it.

Vandalism at Burntisland Parish Church halls

Vandalism at Burntisland Parish Church halls

“The painters who have been in for the past six weeks were really demoralised when they saw it.

“We believe it has been done by teenagers and they obviously haven’t stopped to think about what they are doing. It’s just a mindless act.”

Over the past few months the renovation work has included painting the inside and outside of the halls, the floors have been restored and double glazing installed. The outside of the church building as well as its gates have also been painted.

The work was made possible thanks to a donation left to the church from former church elder Ian Motion who passed away last January. In his will he specified the money was to be used to do up the church hall.

Rae Sweenie, an elder at the church for the past ten years, said: “I feel sorry for the young painters who have been working for weeks to make the place look good.

“We get the odd act of vandalism but it this seems worse because it has all just been done up.”

Rev. Alan Sharp, minister at the church for 12 years, said: “This is not particular to Burntisland and happens all over.

“It is really annoying as we are having a very good time at the church, with the halls being all renovated and being really well used by our youth groups, including the Guides, Scouts and tae kwan do, and the Christians Against Poverty project going well.

“We have a lot of good work going on and this is just an annoyance to everyone.

“Ian Motion was an elder here for over 30 years and he was also the church caretaker for many years. The church was his life and for this to happen is upsetting, but we will just get on with things and concentrate on the good work which is being done.”