St. Mark's Episcopal Church hopes to hold Sunday services despite damage from scaffolding collapse

High winds are blamed for a scaffolding collapse Thursday night in downtown SA.

SAN ANTONIO – St. Mark's Episcopal Church is hoping to hold Sunday services after one of its buildings was damaged during Thursday night's storms.

"It's very important as people get this kind of word that they have the comfort of being able to gather as community and offer prayer and thanksgiving that this could have been much worse and we are grateful to God that it was not," said the Rev. Elizabeth Knowlton.

Scaffolding from the nearby AT&T building collapsed Thursday night, sending debris and water into the parish house of the church.

That building houses the church offices, classrooms and choir rehearsal rooms. Most of the damage was caused by water getting into the building, but there is also damage to the roof, some broken windows and some projectiles in the walls.

Courtesy: St. Mark's Episcopal Church/Facebook
Courtesy: St. Mark's Episcopal Church/Facebook

Knowlton said it's too early to estimate the monetary cost of the damage, but said she's thankful they have good insurance.

"Buildings can be fixed, people cannot," she said.

Three people were hurt by debris as they waited at a nearby bus stop, but their injuries were minor.

Knowlton also said she was thankful the historical sanctuary itself was not damaged.

The reverend is hoping that Sunday services can go on as scheduled with the addition of some temporary air-conditioning units to cool the sanctuary because the building's chiller was crushed during the collapse.

Courtesy: St. Mark's Episcopal Church/Facebook
Courtesy: St. Mark's Episcopal Church/Facebook

The church is canceling all weekday programs next week and will not hold an organ recital that was scheduled for Sunday.

"The organ is sitting in a nice, hot building right now so it won't be making a joyful noise," Knowlton said.

Knowlton said she's thankful for the support of her parishioners and the community, including other churches that have offered to help.

At this point, she said they're not asking for volunteers to come downtown and help any time soon, but she is just encouraging prayers.

She told people to get the latest updates on the church's website or Facebook page.

Watch Friday's press conference from Reverend Knowlton:

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