There's a miniature Basilica inside the historic St. john's church this holiday season—although it's a lot more delicious than the original.
Colleen Stone has created a large gingerbread model of the Basilica, and it's now on display.
"Every year we do a Newfoundland-themed gingerbread house and this year was the Basilica," said Stone.
"We thought it was a bit lofty to try it, but it worked out."
The miniature church is entirely edible—everything from the cross on the roof to the snowmen out in front are made of gingerbread or candy.
The statues are made of white chocolate, the trees are made from ice cream cones, and the cradle for baby Jesus is a carved-out candy egg.
Even the multi-coloured stained glass windows are sweet. Stone made them by melting Jolly Ranchers.
Gingerbread creations a fundraiser for school
For the past four years, Stone has made large, elaborate gingerbread houses to raffle off as a fundraiser for her children's school, St. Bonaventure's College.
In previous years Stone has made a gingerbread Jelly Bean Row, a saltbox house, and last year she made an edible St. Bonaventure's College. The Basilica, she said, was her most ambitious project yet.
"You have to have a little bit of patience, but I think if you've seen it once you realize it's not as hard as it looks," she said,
"Not everybody's going to build a Basilica, but just your little gingerbread houses, they're fun too."
Basilica took 65 hours to make
Stone says the gingerbread Basilica took 65 hours to make, not including planning time. Her two daughters and husband were involved in the intensive process, which began back in September.
After designing the structure on paper, the family built a cardboard model first to make sure everything was the right size.
Stone baked all the pieces individually, decorated them while they were lying flat, and then put it all together.
Baking just a hobby
Stone is not a professional baker; she's a stay-at-home mom who simply loves to bake.
"This is fun," said Stone.
'I've always baked, always. It's something. I got up this morning and made cookies before the kids went to school. It's something we always do."
She said that when the school first asked her if she was interested in making a gingerbread house, she didn't think that she should.
"I didn't think it'd be good enough. But I said we'd try, and it worked," she said.
Stone said she's not sure what the church will do with the gingerbread Basilica once the holidays are over, but said it will certainly still be good to eat.