Jakob Gionest, left, flips pancakes under the supervision of Dennis Anglea during a pancake breakfast for the community at the Second Congregational Church in Biddeford in 2017. ED PIERCE/Journal Tribune

BIDDEFORD — Weekly community breakfasts at Second Congregational Church have been discontinued for the summer, and with the church planning to relocate, a return date has not been set.

Second Congregational Church at 19 Crescent St. in Biddeford has hosted free, weekly community pancake breakfasts on Sundays since January 2016.

The breakfasts are run by volunteers, and while some of the food is provided by Bon Apetit meal program, many of the ingredients are purchased by the dedicated volunteers who cook and serve the food.

The breakfasts serve up to 80 people, and some changes have had to been made since its inception such as simplifying the breakfast to make the meal run more efficiently and increase security measures to deal with unruly people, said the Rev. Catherine Anglea.

She said last year, the congregation decided to stop serving the breakfasts during the summer to give volunteers a break and decided to do so this summer as well.

The breakfasts serve up to 80 people, and Anglea said she feels badly because there aren’t any other meal programs in the city on the weekends, but the volunteers need some time off.

“They’re amazing,” she said. “The volunteers work very hard. They really do need a break.”

Last weekend was the last breakfast before the summer break, and Anglea said she’s not sure if the tradition will restart in the fall, as church officials are focusing energies on relocating.

The church building, which she said dates back to the mid-1800s, is expensive to maintain and heat and needs repairs that the church can not afford.

“We are not a people of the building, we are a people of God,” said Anglea.

Anglea said the congregation has decided to put the church on the market this summer and find a new location. In addition to weekly services and community breakfasts, the church also hosts concerts and an annual Christmas shopping event for children.

It also houses the Bon Apetit meal program, and Anglea said the congregation is looking for a location downtown where it can continue its missions and continue to house Bon Apetit.

The Second Congregational Church property, including the building and the land, is assessed at nearly $1.1 million, according to city records.

Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be reached at 780-9015 or by email at [email protected].

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