BAYVILLE — A stretch of land that was owned by Saint Barnabas Parish on 33 Woodland Road has been sold to a buyer that intends to develop the area that is currently lined with trees, the Parish said on social media Thursday

The plot of land is about to look very different if the developer gets the proper variances from the town's government. 

"In an effort to make sure that our parish continues to remain a reliable beacon of light for our parish community, we have taken the following measures to make sure that St. Barnabas continues to remain strong both spiritually and financially," Reverend Stanley Lukaszewski said in a post on the church's Facebook page. 

Lukaszewski, who is known by the parish community as Father Stas, says that the developer intends to put up townhomes on the long stretch of wooded road behind the church, "the new community will become a 'watchful eye' so that our wooded area will no longer be an attractive nuisance for those who have been dumping garbage, young people speeding through the property, and most of all the conducting [sic] of illegal activities." 

The outbreak of COVID-19 and the closing of businesses and religious organizations have taken a toll on churches, synagogues, and mosques throughout New Jersey. 

Rev. Lukaszewski says that thanks to the generosity of the community during the pandemic, the church was able to pay all of its bills and maintain salaries, "it's only with your support that we can continue as we are doing." 

The church is expected to save around $25,000 in property taxes annually and will allow the church to better use resources and meet financial obligations. 

"This transaction will allow our church to eliminate a long time debt to the Diocese [of Trenton] and will create financial security for the future of our church," Rev. Lukaszewski concluded. 

Mark Anthony is a reporter with Townsquare Media. Click here to follow him on Facebook. 

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