The pastor of the United Church in Starbuck which was destroyed in a fire Friday said the congregation is devastated, but will recover, in part thanks to help from other local churches. 

Reverend Cathy Maxwell told CBC Saturday morning the United Church congregation is small and ageing, counting only between 15 and 25 people on a Sunday morning.

starbuck church fire

Cathy Maxwell, the reverend of the United Church in Starbuck, said the congregation numbers between 15 and 25 people on a Sunday morning. She said they will worship at a nearby Lutheran Church for the time being. (Lyzville Sale/CBC)

She said the fire and its aftermath are hitting people hard. 

starbuck church

Fire officials said damage to the United Church in Starbuck was $650,000. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

"Most people are still in shock at this point and there's a deep sense of sadness and loss," she said. "But there's also a sense of, 'We will survive this ... in whatever way, shape or form that takes, we don't know yet. But we're a strong, faithful group of people and ... we'll find a way through this.'"

What is left of the 110-year-old structure was to be knocked down Saturday. 

Maxwell, who has been with the United Church in Starbuck for 9 years, said the building may be gone, but the congregation is still there and that's the focus now. 

"The church isn't the building," she said. "It's the people that are there and the connections between the members and the families that are there."

Fire officials said the damage from the fire was $650,000. 

'Most people are in shock ... But we're a strong, faithful group of people ... we'll find a way through this.' - Rev. Cathy Maxwell

"We're not sure at this point what our future holds," Maxwell said. "We have to kind of rally and figure out what we are doing and talk with our insurance company and ... decide what our future holds."

She said other churches have stepped up to help. 

"The Lutheran Church has offered us space and we will be worshipping there for the time being. Our service times, luckily, are at different times Sunday morning and so they have graciously welcomed us with open arms."

She said another United Church is sending over hymn books.

"[It] is really important to help people feel comfortable and get that feeling of normalcy that we're going to be missing for a while," she said.

"It's a wonderful feeling to know that we've got the support of other folks in the community and the other churches," she said.