Fire Damages Garret Hall at Cathedral
Prayers are asked for St. Matthew's Cathedral. This from Dean Rob Price: It is may sad duty to inform the parish that shortly before 3 a.m., April 27, the Dallas Fire Department responded to a major fire in Garrett Hall. Seven trucks were eventually on scene, and one firefighter sustained significant but non-life-threatening injuries while fighting the fire in the building: the prayers and gratitude of our parish family are raised up for him and the other firefighters who fought the blaze. Damage to the interior of the building has been extensive, but we have been told that the building remains structurally sound. Smoke damage has been sustained through the foyer of the Great Hall and into the sacristies and undercroft. The very good news is that the fire doors performed their job, both in keeping the fire contained to Garrett Hall, and in keeping smoke damage out of the nave itself. As painful and sad as the aftermath of the fire was for me to see, there is much to be thankful for.
Now the work of remediation begins, with the priority being the spaces most needed for Sunday. In order to allow that work to proceed and not spread the soot around campus, the Cathedral campus is closed to all but construction and remediation personnel. Please do not attempt to enter the buildings while this process continues. Again, the Nave of the Cathedral, which is undamaged, and the Great Hall will be usable for worship on Sunday morning (and for the ordination the day before), but they are not open until then. In a few days, the staff will be able to retrieve items from our offices, and the work on Garrett Hall will recommence. Our vision of a renewed building that is a center of ministry for the Cathedral, the Diocese, and our East Dallas community is postponed, but not thwarted, in its realization.
As we move forward, I ask your prayers for our staff and lay leadership as we seek the help of the Holy Spirit in rising to this new challenge. We are reminded ever more forcefully that the church is a People, not a place, and that when we are faithful to each other in love and service, especially in times of suffering and grief, we reflect the faithfulness of God in Jesus Messiah to the world. I want to end by expressing my deep appreciation and gratitude for David Pinson and Janet Schoenecker, our Wardens, and James Pena, our sexton, for their calm and focused leadership during the hours immediately following the fire department’s response this morning, and their continued labors on behalf of the St. Matthew’s community.
Yours in Jesus, who rose from Death to new and beautiful life with the Father,
Fr. Rob Price