The Christmas tree may be smaller and there are fewer poinsettias this year, but spirits remain high for members of a fire-damaged College Point church.
“This will be a different Christmas for us, but we are not getting depressed about it,” said the Rev. Linda Burlew, pastor of the historic First Reformed Church.
Church refuses to be bowed by fire
A fire that started in the bottom of the 135-year-old edifice in June travelled up an inside wall that acted as a chimney. The steeple sustained the most damage, but water seriously compromised the interior.
Burlew indicated fire officials were not able to determine the cause of the blaze, which took an hour to extinguish at 118-17 14th Ave.
Filing insurance claims and securing building permits from the city have taken time, but the minister reports scaffolding went up last week in preparation for the restoration. She expects the work to take six months.
Young church members spent part of Saturday making their own ornaments and decorating the tree. They didn’t seem to mind that it was smaller. Burlew said the fire has brought the 50-member congregation closer together. “It’s sad, but we’ll get through it.”