Six fire engines and around 30 firefighters were called to the Church of the Ascension on Ascension Road in Salford after the blaze broke out at around 11.10pm on Sunday.
Police are treating the fire as an arson attack and have released CCTV footage of a man thought to be connected to the fire running away from the scene.
Jaime Wise, chair of the Friends of Green Grosvenor Park, told the Manchester Evening News the community has been left in shock by the arson attack.
He helped launch a JustGiving crowd funding campaign in order to raise £100,000 towards the restoration of the building.
"We as a community are calling out to everyone to please donate any amount possible so we can save this beautiful building and get it back to how it was," Wise wrote on the crowd funding site, "This building means so much to the people of Lower Broughton and we are truly shocked by what has happened."
JustGiving supporter Lona Barker wrote in the site: "Come on people we can do this! Big part of my childhood, choir etc... Let's get as much money as possible to help rebuild the heart of our community."
The church had recently undergone a £250,000 refurbishment.
Wise told the Evening News: "At the moment we don't know the extent of the damage, and whether it can be saved, but by showing authorities we can raise this money, it shows them what it means to us, and that it has to be replaced one way or another."