Lightning Hits First Presbyterian Church

Putting The Finishing Touches On Repairing The Presbyterian Church Steeple


Workers were back at First Presbyterian Church in Collingwood on Thursday November 8th to finish repair work to the Church Steeple, damaged by a lightning strike in an early July thunderstorm.

Months After Lightning Strike, Repair Work Began

A quiet summer day, July 7th, gave way to a fierce thunderstorm that quickly swept over Collingwood. The storm produced lightning strikes with one targeting the Church Tower at First Presbyterian Church on Maple Street at Third Street in Central Collingwood. The strike hit with such force that it blew off a large number of slate shingles and sent them flying across Maple Street. It is incredibly fortunate and somewhat hard to believe that the steeple didn’t catch fire.

Repair work is now underway to replace the shingles and fully repair the structure before winter.




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Slate shingles were damaged or blown right off the steeple of First Presbyterian Church in Collingwood during last Thursday’s thunderstorm.

A lighting strike has caused damage to the steeple of First Presbyterian Church in Collingwood. The Church was hit at the height of Thursday’s fierce mid-afternoon thunderstorm that swept through Collingwood. The force was so strong that it blew slate shingles off the steeple, across Maple Street and into neighbour’s yards.

Fortunately, no fire broke out.

People inside the Church reported hearing a very loud crash but didn’t know the building had been hit.

A neighbour was watching the storm approach on his front porch when the lightning hit. He said there was a bright light and immediate crash of thunder.

“The sound was like having a whip cracked right beside your ear, followed by a loud crash and an overpowering ozone smell, like sulphur.”

The area in front of the Church along Maple and Third Streets has been fenced off to keep passers by safe from possible falling slate from the steeple.


Work crews arrived Saturday afternoon to cover the exposed areas of the steeple and to remove any shingles in immediate danger of falling.

There was no damage to the interior of the Church.


This is what the steeple with slate shingles looked like prior to being hit by lightning
–photos: Paul Richards



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