A church minister says he is “saddened” after an Arbroath church was targeted by vandals on Remembrance Sunday.
Police are investigating after three windows in St John’s Methodist Church were smashed by vandals in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Reverend Nick Baker, the minister at the church, said he was shocked after discovering the kirk on Ponderlaw Street had been vandalised, particularly on such a poignant date.
“The act of vandalism was bizarre and upsetting for the congregation gathering on Remembrance Sunday,” said Reverend Baker.
“I was preaching in Montrose [on the day], but I think we’re all a bit stunned as to why anybody would want to do that.
“It’s just thoughtlessness on the part of whoever has done this and perhaps they didn’t even realise that it was Remembrance Sunday.
“For all of us, but especially some people in particular, it is a very meaningful day and something like that just adds to the upset.
“It’s upsetting for people who want to offer that gift of time of remembering and giving thanks for those who have made sacrifices and people in Arbroath who have made sacrifices.
“It would have been upsetting any Sunday but it’s heightened in a situation such as this.”
Disruption to renovation plans
The church, which has not been vandalised before, is set to undergo renovations ahead of it’s 250th anniversary in May.
But the smashed glass may cause complications and unnecessary costs to the church’s future plans.
Reverend Baker said: “We’re hoping to make the building more sustainable and put in a café.
“In the hall where the windows are smashed, we’re hoping to start a café along the lines of a café that used to be in Arbroath, the Darling Café.
“I’ll have to speak to the architect about what we’ll have to do now, whether we’ll have to replace the window — which I suspect we might — only for them to be removed in two or three months time.”
Reverend Baker highlighted that the glass will not be the easiest to replace, as it dates back to the 1960s or 1970s.
He believes something was used to hit the window repeatedly, rather than an object being thrown.
This has led Reverend Baker considering higher security measures in the renovation plans for the church.
‘We pray for them’
“It never crossed my mind but I’ll now have to talk to the architect about getting security measures in place,” he added.
“I don’t think it crossed any of our minds to be honest, it’s totally bizarre. Whoever has done this, we pray for them, we’re saddened, we’ll hold them and we carry on.”
Police were alerted of the vandalism on Sunday morning after a local in the community informed the church of the incident.
A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “At around 7.45am on Sunday, November 14, 2021, police received a report of a vandalism at a church in Ponderlaw Street, Arbroath.
“Enquiries are continuing.”