St. Paul’s opens addition to begin new chapter

(May 4, 2018) St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church at 302 Baltimore Ave. celebrated a rebirth Saturday during the Blessing of The Fellowship Commons, a two-story addition built to replace a portion destroyed by fire in Nov. 2013.

The ceremony was lead by the Right Rev. Santosh Marray, Bishop of the Diocese of Easton, and church rector Father Matthew D’Amario, along with St. Paul’s Vestry wardens.

The recently completed 2,300-square-foot addition fills the void left after the 2013 fire that began when John Sterner, 56, burst into the Shepherd’s Crook Ministry, a food pantry operated from the rectory, smelling of gasoline and set himself on fire.

The ensuing blaze, just two days before Thanksgiving, took the life of church pastor Rev. David Dingwall and left church volunteer Dana Truitt critically injured with third-degree burns.

John Knotts, senior church warden, said despite the dark history, a new chapter is now being written.

“The best thought is we are finally able to open this building since the disastrous fire,” he said.

Also on hand was Delegate Mary Beth Carozza (R-38C) who said the event united congregation members with a larger body of residents to forge a new path.

“This is a joyful day and it’s wonderful to see the entire church community, and the community in general, come together to celebrate the opening of the church,” she said…

Mary Beth Carozza for State Senate