Community support after church vandalism

Rector Canon Peter Mander beside some of the damaged headstones at St Mary on the Rock Church
Rector Canon Peter Mander beside some of the damaged headstones at St Mary on the Rock Church

An Ellon minister has thanked the local community for their support since vandals damaged headstones in a churchyard wrecking spree.

A total of 16 memorials were knocked over or broken at St Mary on the Rock Church at the beginning of August.

Police launched an investigation into the vandal attack which shocked the local community, but the culprits have not so far been caught.

St Mary’s rector the Rev Canon Peter Mander told the Times this week: “We are very disappointed to hear that no one has been held responsible for the vandalism. There was no motive behind it.”

Since the incident, the church has received an estimate from stone masons to fix or replace all the headstones, which comes to a total of £3,600.

Mr Mander added: “The church will be able to offer some assistance but the community have made some contributions already which we are very grateful for.”

Despite the vandalism, the church has been busily organising its seasonal events, including St Mary’s annual flower festival.

Mr Mander said they were determined not to let what had happened disrupt the good work of the church.Meanwhile,Ellon and District councillor Rob Merson said he hoped Ellon people would continue to rally round.

He added: “St Mary on the Rock Church does a huge amount of pastoral work for the benefit of the wider community and I very much hope that the people of Ellon will reciprocate with their customary
generosity.

“This is a societal problem, and it is only right that our whole community reacts to it.

“In particular, I would very much hope that those who perpetrated the damage will have had time to reflect on their utterly pointless act of vandalism, and will make a substantial donation to the appeal.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said:“The case remains open, it is not under review.

“Should any new information come to light, this would be considered.”