After a fire severely damaged their 140-year-old building on Owen Street in downtown Barrie more than a week ago, members of the St. Andrew's Presbyterian community met with their church leaders on Sunday to discuss their future.
The fire, which broke out around 10 p.m. on Feb. 19, originated in the back of the building, prompting Barrie Fire crews to respond. The church sustained external damage, such as heavy black soot on the outer walls, as well as severe damage to some of its interior rooms.
BarrieToday reporter Shawn Gibson recently sat with Scott Sexsmith to discuss what the church will do moving forward until they can move back to their home.
A recent fire at St. Andrew's church in downtown Barrie has left the congregation without a home for what could be up to eight months. The authorities have not yet determined the exact cause of the fire, but it is believed to be the work of the same individual allegedly involved in other fires that night in downtown Barrie.
The building is 140 years old, and the damage was pretty extensive, including the loss of significant items with historical value, such as the photos of all the past reverends.
The authorities have handed the building back over to the church members and the board, but they are not allowed to go in yet, and the city has issued an order on the building. The city is waiting to find out what is structurally wrong with the building before anyone can go in.
The church members and leadership say they are relying on their faith more than ever to get them through this challenging time.
St. Andrew's church members are exploring options while they are displaced, such as joint services. They are still at the very early stages and do not even know how to get moving, but at least they have some options.