Warwick parish marks anniversary of devastating church fire

West Bay

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s been one year since Woodbury Union Church was destroyed by a massive fire.

Flames engulfed the building the night before Thanksgiving last year, causing significant damage.

Since the fire, the nearby St. Benedict’s Catholic Church has allowed Woodbury parishioners to worship in their building at no cost.

On Wednesday, the two congregations gathered to mark the anniversary of the fire — and to signify how the tragedy has created a special bond between the parishes.

Pastor T.J. DeMarco said Woodbury Union is still in the process of being rebuilt, but he expects the parish to be back up and running by the spring.

He said while the process has been emotionally exhausting, he’s thankful that it brought the community together.

“The church is not a building, we’re bigger than that,” said Father Robert Marciano of St. Kevin & St. Benedict’s Parish, “It’s the people and we hope we’ve demonstrated that this year and demonstrated that in coming together.”

Pastor DeMarco said since the fire, the church has received roughly $100,000 in donations.

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