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Church members honor Notre Dame with gingerbread replica

WESTON, MO (KSHB) -- The world saw a destructive scene earlier this year at one of the world's most iconic landmarks as flames ripped through the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

One local church is trying to do its best to honor the cathedral in a festive way.

Several members of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Weston crafted a massive replica of the cathedral out of gingerbread, and it's nearly all edible.

Lisa Stiffler said she's no gingerbread house rookie.

"It all started about three years ago when Father Steven Rogers asked us to recreate our church in gingerbread," Stiffler said.

The following year, Stiffler said Rogers asked her to kick it up a notch and create the Vatican out of gingerbread.

So this year, it only seemed right to honor Notre Dame.

Stiffler, her husband, and another church member began the process in September. They started by using a one-foot, 3D puzzle to get an idea of the cathedral's design.

Stiffler multiplied those dimensions by eight and created the structure out of cardboard first then baked 400 to 450 pieces of gingerbread to match the pieces.

In total, the creation took about 450 pounds of ingredients and 50 batches of gingerbread.

Stiffler said it took a lot of work over the last month but seeing the final product makes it all worth it.

"It's just a feel good project," Stiffler said. "I think so many people are going to get joy out of it, and honestly while we were making it we got such a sense of accomplishment."

From the doorknobs to the flying buttresses, there's no shortage of detail. The design utilizes pretzels for railings, chocolate for gargoyles, chocolate crispies for landscaping, and it has more than 100 "stained glass" windows made from melted jolly ranchers. It also has more than 500 LED lights.

The final product will be on display this weekend for the church's European dinner.

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