IPSWICH (CBS) — Wood and plaster weighing thousands of pounds came crashing down in a historic Ipswich church on Friday afternoon.

Fortunately, no one was in the Living Faith United Methodist Church at the time, said Pastor Adam Randazzo, but had the collapsed occurred a few hours later, a gathering would have been taking place.

“There was supposed to be an NA meeting tonight. It would have had 50 to 100 people here. This could have been a lot worse,” said Randazzo.

According to Building Commissioner David Fuller, age likely is behind the destruction. The building’s most recent inspection was December.

“It’s very unusual. It’s not something that happens with any frequency at all,” said Fuller.

There is a Verizon cell tower inside the church, but Fuller did not believe that had a role.

A structural engineer will visit the church Tuesday, in the meantime, the building is taped off and marked as “unsafe.”

The church was built in 1859. “It’s an old part of the town but we survived, we will survive, things have happened, we’ll move on, we’ll press on, God will provide,” said Randazzo.

A neighboring church has already offered space to allow those at the Methodist church to have mass this Sunday.

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