Demolition for fire damaged church

23:21, May 19 2014
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Father Craig Butler blessed the remains of St Philomena's Church.

A walk around the fire damaged St Philomena's Church reduced people to tears yesterday.

More than 100 people attended a blessing for the church, in Brooklands Rd, New Plymouth, which was damaged in a suspicious fire in January.

The Taranaki Daily News understands the remains of the church are due to be demolished.

The service was led by Father Craig Butler who told the people to remember the men and women who imagined first a church.

"They saved and fundraised in all kinds of ways to give us this church."

During the blessing Butler led the people around the church sprinkling blessed water on the building as he went.

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Some became emotional as they walked.

Butler said it was a time for grieving and people were allowed to cry.

The church is a sacred place to so many people because of the weddings, baptisms, funerals - all kinds of special occasions in the life of a parish community, he said.

"I've had phone calls from people who live in the area talking about our church."

It was now time to look forward to the future with hope that something good would come out of it, he said.

Flowers were handed out and people were invited to place them in a bowl.

"Flowers are often seen as symbols of love."

Taranaki Daily News