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Church burns down

The Bethel Fellowship Centre church in Middelpos lost various valuable items to the value of R300 000 in a fire which took place in the early hours of Wednesday 18 March.

According to Rebecca Maela, a member of the church, the fire began around 06:00, and she witnessed her beloved place of worship being consumed by flames.

“I got a call from one of our church congregation members alerting us that the church was on fire,” she recalled.

“The church lost sound equipment, which included mixers, mics, speakers, keyboards and drum sets. We also lost kitchen utensils and all our church furniture. This was also the first time that our church caught alight.”

However, the community’s swift reaction to douse the fire and salvage any valuable items they could remains to be the silver lining to the gloom surrounding the church’s destruction.

“The reaction of the community was very positive, as some were carrying buckets of water to try and douse the flames and even stayed to help us clean up after the church burned,” Maela related.

Fortunately no-one was harmed in the fire, and Saldanha police have opened a case and are conducting a forensic investigation to uncover what had caused the fire, whether or not it was a case of arson.

Maela added that although the church is just five years old, it has made great strides in ploughing back into the community through supplying food and items to the less fortunate, aside from being a veritable source of inspiration to worshippers.

She said: “Our church has been a beacon of hope in our community with its annual projects such as soup kitchens, donating winter clothes to the children and feeding the homeless, to name a few. This year, the church planned on donating school shoes to Middelpos Primary, and some of them were also lost in the fire.

“The church would appreciate any form of financial assistance of any amount to resuscitate the building,” Boltumelo Nqgele, senior administrator at the church, said. “Aside from its soup kitchens and blanket provisions in winter, it also offers computer literacy training programmes.”

For more information, contact Nqgele on 071 012 0927.

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