Traffic chaos after lightning strike damages church tower

Lightning struck the church tower at 9.52am leaving an 8ft hole in the slate roof section of the tower
Lightning struck the church tower at 9.52am leaving an 8ft hole in the slate roof section of the tower

Roads around a prominent local church had to be closed off this morning after lightning struck the tower of the building and blew a hole in it.

Denny Old Parish Church, in Duke Street, was hit just before 10am during a thunderstorm and Fire and Rescue Service personnel had to be called.

Roads were closed off temporarily and traffic diverted as a precautionary measure just incase any debris was blown off into the streets.

Church session clerk Jim Thomson said: “The strike caused damage to the stone tower, which has a weather vane on the top of it. There is now a hole in the side of the tower.

“The only problem we have now is the roads are closed and we need to get the structural engineer in to assess the damage. If the worst comes to the worst we can hold Sunday’s service in the church hall.”

Jim recalled a similar incident at the church maybe 30 years ago, but admitted it was not as bad as today’s strike.

“I was in the shops before it happened and I heard this huge flash and an almighty crack,” he said.

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “Denny Old Parish Church was struck by lightning resulting in structural damage. In the interests of public safety the roads at Denny Cross have been closed until the damage can be fully assessed.”

Two years ago the church, which dates back to the 18th century, received a visit from the Church of Scotland Moderator, who saw the good work the church does in the community.