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With singing and love, Middle Collegiate Church members mark anniversary of tragic fire

BY BONNIE ROSENSTOCK | On Sat., Dec. 5, 2020, a six-alarm fire all but destroyed the historic 128-year-old Middle Collegiate Church on Second Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Streets.

This Dec. 5 there was love all around at the site of Middle Collegiate Church, where last year there had been a raging fire. (Photo by Patrick Mulcahy)

The blaze, which began at 5 a.m., originated in the vacant building (the cause was determined to be faulty electrical wiring), just around the corner from the Gothic church structure. Flames quickly engulfed and gutted both buildings, and only the church facade escaped destruction.

Along with “Love,” congregants held copies of Reverend Dr. Jacqui Lewis’s recently published inspirational, “Fierce Love.” (Photo by Patrick Mulcahy)
The church facade still stands. (Photo by Bonnie Rosenstock)

To mark the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, on Sun., Dec. 5, the church’s congregants first held Mass at their temporary home at Calvary Episcopal Church on 21st Street and Park Avenue South, and then took to the streets, marching and singing their way down Second Avenue.

Offerings left by the congregation, friends and neighbors on the construction fence of the vacant site of the next-door building where the fire started. (Photo by Bonnie Rosenstock)

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