And finally… Theft of builder’s van causes renovation delay

Multi-million pound work to renovate an Aberdeen church has been delayed after the builder’s van was stolen.

After three years of fundraising, the congregation of Hebron Evangelical Church was hoping to be in the new building on Aberdeen’s Summer Street by Christmas.

But the December deadline has now been forcibly extended after a van containing the contractors’ power tools was stolen from outside the building – while they were working inside.

Church elder Rod Pirie told the Evening Express: “The builders were inside working and were going up and down the stairs carrying plasterboard.

“They left their jackets at the bottom of the stairs with the van keys in and realised something was wrong when they came downstairs and their van was gone.”

A number of the small firm’s power tools were destroyed in the incident – causing a delay to the work that means the congregation will be unable to celebrate Christmas in the renovated building.

Mr Pirie said: “It has now been pushed into next year. We are looking closer to March or April.

“It is a bit disappointing because we had hoped to be in by Christmas, but these things happen and everyone is optimistic. We did manage to show some people what it is looking like inside and everyone got quite excited when they saw how much work had been done.

“When you go in now it is quite obvious that it is very nearly there, so everyone is quite excited and looking forward to it being finished.”

The congregation, which has around 150 people, moved to Denburn Church on Summer Street from premises at Thistle Street in 2012.

They just need to raise £50,000 more of the £2 million cost of the build to make the church usable. A Police Scotland spokeswoman confirmed police had received a report of the theft of a van and contents from outside Hebron Evangelical Church.

She said: “The van was subsequently recovered along with a quantity of the stolen tools.”

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