AGAWAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The local faith community is reacting to news of the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Many that we spoke with on Tuesday said that it doesn't matter what religion you follow, yesterday's fire in Paris was a devastating loss for everyone.

"It was extraordinarily sad to see this happen to that church," said Roberta Page of West Springfield.

Page reacted to news of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. She said she was lucky enough to visit in 1969 when she and two friends from AIC studied abroad.

"Walking through the doors, seeing the architecture - exterior and interior - and the flying buttresses and everything from that cathedral, that church was just jaw-dropping and it took our breath away," Page explained.

Greg Dawson is the pastor at the Agawam Congregational Church and told Western Mass News he can't help but feel saddened by the loss of such of a historic structure.

"It has a long history of having endured countless wars, bombings, World War I, World War II...that you talk about Notre Dame, it's in our history, it's in our stories, it's in our fairy tale," Dawson said.

However, Dawson said that perhaps the most important story that came out of Monday's fire was the fact that beleivers were gathering outstide the church, singing hymns as it burned.

"A building will be rebuilt because those who are believers will gather to build the building. The building is never the church, it's only where the believers of the church gather to worship," Dawson noted.

Page added, "People from all walks of life have walked through that Notre Dame, Our Lady, so it's very sad."

With some of the building still standing, the faith community said that they look forward to it being rebuilt.

"This is not the end. It is but a beginning. We start over again and a new day will dawn," Dawson said.

Fundraising efforts to rebuild have begun. You can CLICK HERE for more information.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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