North Adams church closed for Mass during fire investigation

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (WWLP) – On Sundays, Episcopalians in North Adams and surrounding Berkshire County towns have one place to worship: All Saints Episcopal Church on Summer Street in North Adams. This Sunday, they didn’t even have that.

“Church around here are becoming history…I guess we’ll have to, if there’s no Church, we’ll have to go to church in Williamstown,” said Ralph Lewis, a parishioner from North Adams.

The Church and Church Hall, once known as St. John’s and built in 1893, were closed Sunday as the State Fire Marshal investigated the cause of a fire that started around 8 Saturday night.

North Adams Fire Lieutenant Michael Goodson told 22News the fire started just a few hours after Mass got out on Saturday. Smoke and water damage were so extensive, Mass was cancelled on Sunday.

A Church vestry member named Bill told 22News he believes the fire started on the third floor of the Church Hall. He said smoke and water damage contaminated dinners for Meals on Wheels, but through the help of a neighboring church, he was still able to feed the needy.

Parishioner Jim Crawford stood in the rain to check out the damage: “No they won’t stop us. If we have to, we’ll go into a tent…We’ll go somewhere. We’ll be somewhere together.”

With most of the damage in the hall, parishioners hope it won’t be too long before church doors open once again for service.