AUGUSTA — Clergy gathered to bless a new warming space for needy people on Thursday at the former St. Mark’s Parish Hall on Pleasant Street.

The Rev. Suzanne Colburn, the new interim pastor at the Emanuel Lutheran Episcopal Church, and other local clergy members gave the blessing for “the gift” of the space.

“We have come together to renew friendships and to rededicate ourselves and this space to justice, peace, wholeness, and the care of God,” Colburn said, reading from an adaptation of a prayer.

The warming center is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the winter.

After the Augusta Food Bank moves out, the warming center will move up to the first floor. Then Addie’s Attic and The Everyday Basics Essentials Pantry will expand into the rest of the lower level. The former St. Mark’s church and parish hall are up for sale, so the group Bridging The Gap is looking for a new space to move into, according to project director Sarah Miller.

Bridging The Gap runs the pantry, Addie’s Attic Clothing Bank and warming center there.

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