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Spring services possible at Central Newfoundland Presbyterian church as fire restoration continues

St. Matthew's Presbyterian Church board members Bob Thompson, left, and Lucien Forbes stand in the sanctuary of the church. Work is being done to restore the space after a fire in late October.
St. Matthew's Presbyterian Church board members Bob Thompson, left, and Lucien Forbes stand in the sanctuary of the church. Work is being done to restore the space after a fire in late October. - Nicholas Mercer

Slowly but surely St. Matthew’s Presbyterian Church is being put back together. 

In the spring, this space will be filled with chairs and an alter.
In the spring, this space will be filled with chairs and an alter.

 

The steeple sits 20 feet from the back of the church as a dumpster and scaffolding have been placed alongside the 109-year-old structure. 

In late October, a fire burned much of the interior of the historic church. 

Inside construction tools and loose lumber wait to be put to good use by one of the many volunteers helping with the restoration.

The outside of the building is still sound. 

“There has been a lot of interest (from the community) and we’ve had help from the other churches,” said St. Matthew’s board member Lucien  Forbes. “We haven’t stopped. We go every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.” 

Aside from a plethora of community volunteers, local contractor Triple-A Construction has also helped out with the work. 

The plan is to give the inside of the church the same feel it provided before the fire by using the same arches, ceilings and other features like chairs instead of pews. 

While the church won’t be ready for the Christmas season, there are hopes the sanctuary will be fit for services in the spring.  

The basement still needs work, and that focus will turn there once the sanctuary is completed.  

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