Historic village church targeted by vandals

Blackford Parish Church
Blackford Parish Church.

A police investigation is underway after an historic village church in Perthshire was broken into and extensively vandalised.

The incident at Blackford Parish Church is understood to have happened in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Deeply upsetting

Minister Rev Mairi Perkins said: “We are saddened and distressed by the events over the weekend.

“It came as a real shock to us all.

“We are helping the Police with their enquiries and I am absolutely at a loss to explain why someone could do such a thing.

“It is not yet clear when the building will re-open for use.

“But the church is wherever God’s people are and this coming Sunday we will be holding our service at Ardoch Parish Church in Braco.”

Light out of darkness

Rev Scott Burton, Moderator of the Presbytery of Perth, said: “The Presbytery of Perth is deeply upset at the traumatic situation our friends and colleagues at Blackford Parish Church are in with this dreadful vandalism having taken place.

“We are offering as much prayerful and practical support to those affected as we can, believing, as always, that light can come out of darkness and hope out of despair.”

In a statement, Police Scotland said it was continuing with enquiries after a vandalism to Blackford Parish Church, Blackford sometime between 1pm on Saturday 4 February and 10.30am on Sunday 5 February.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting reference CR/3198/17

Stained glass

The Parish of Blackford was formerly the Parish of Strageath founded by St. Fergus in the eighth century.

Its name was changed to Blackford in 1617 by an Act of Parliament.

The present Blackford Parish Church was built in 1859.

There are several beautiful stained glass windows in the church that depict biblical themes, as well as a memorial to a trooper, George Ramsay McGibbon.

He was the son of the minister at the time, who died while serving in the Boer War.

The church celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2009 and a yew tree was planted in the grounds to mark the occasion.