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Seminary chapel destroyed by fire: The Church of England Newspaper, Oct 29, 2010 p 6. November 1, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Virginia.

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Chapel of the Virginia Theological Seminary was destroyed by fire last week.  On Oct 22 at approximately 3:55 pm, a blaze was discovered in the 129 year old Immanuel Chapel of the Episcopal Church’s largest clergy training college.

The fire service responded quickly to the blaze, but not before the roof and most of the windows were destroyed and the church heavily damaged.

“At this stage, the cause of the fire is unclear. The VTS Community is saddened and devastated by this catastrophe,” said Dean Ian Markham.

“The buildings nearby are intact and safe. The ministry and mission of VTS continue, even as the community grieves,” he said.

Dean Markham said the seminary will rebuild the chapel, “but we cannot think about that at this moment,” as there are business, insurance and there are “countless other concerns, some immediate and others long term” to be taken into account.

An investigation by the US government’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is under way, the dean said, noting that nothing should be read into the federal government’s taking over the investigation of the fire as an “ATF investigation is standard for all church fires in the United States.”

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