Anger as vandals destroy benches at Fife church

Mike and Rev Black on the restored benches.Mike and Rev Black on the restored benches.
Mike and Rev Black on the restored benches.
Two benches at a Cupar church which were destroyed by cold-hearted vandals have been restored thanks to the efforts of a local business.

People in Cupar were shocked and appalled after learning that the benches outside the St John’s and Dairsie United Parish Church on Bonnygate had been ruined two weeks ago.

One of those people was businessman Mike Lewis, owner of joinery company Bspoke. He offered to repair the benches, and, last week, after more than 16 hours of work, he returned the fully restored benches back to the church.

“He was incredibly helpful,” said Rev Gavin Black.

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“Whoever did it did a serious amount of damage. It was quite horrendous.

“We were sad about the incident, but then Mike came along and made a very kind offer to restore and return the benches.

“The job he has done – I thought they were beyond repair. They look brand new.

“Our thanks go to Mike and all the support we have received from the community.”

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The two benches are both quite new, having been placed in the last few years. They have become popular with locals, whether it is people wanting to sit and relax for a moment, or those who want somewhere to sit while eating their lunch.

“The benches are used every day,” said Gavin. “People will be having their fish supper or ice cream. It’s a very tranquil spot.”

Mike offered his help free of charge and was more than happy to help the church.

“Being a local business, we are supported by the local people,” he said.

“It’s nice to give back to the community.”

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It took several days of work to restore and repair the two benches. Because of the level of damage, one required 80 per cent new timber, while the other needed around 40 per cent.

“We’re delighted with the benches,” added Mike.

“I didn’t do it for any reaction – I just wanted to help. I was taken back by the response.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We received a report of damage to benches in the grounds of St John’s Church at Bonnygate, Cupar, on Thursday, 15 October, 2020. Enquiries are ongoing.”

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