Ser­vice to bring com­mu­nity to­gether


The Min­is­ter’s As­so­ci­a­tion in Kaiko¯ura have or­gan­ised a com­mu­nity church ser­vice for ev­ery­one to come to­gether to mark a year since the earth­quake.

St Paul’s Pres­by­te­rian Church par­ish clerk Marie David­son, St Peter’s Angli­can Church Vicar Kevin Topp, Vine­yard Chris­tian Fel­low­ship Church pas­tor Eric Coops, Fa­ther Julien Wagg Catholic priest of Sa­cred Heart Church, and Pas­tor Brian O’Con­nor from Kaik­oura New Life Church have or­gan­ised a ser­vice to be held out­doors at Churchill Park.

The com­bined ser­vice on Sun­day is a time for ev­ery­one to come to­gether, said Vine­yard Church pas­teur Eric Coops.

A year on from the dev­as­tat­ing 7.8-mag­ni­tude earth­quake last Novem­ber the com­mu­nity is still re­cov­er­ing.

‘‘There are still some peo­ple who are pretty raw out there and it is vir­tu­ally just hit­ting them now,’’ said Coops.

The em­pha­sis will be on bring­ing peo­ple to­gether in fel­low­ship, a time to talk and share in the events of last year.

‘‘We want it to be a happy and joy­ous oc­ca­sion,’’ he said.

The last ser­vice was held a week after the earth­quake, when 400 peo­ple came to­gether for sup­port.

St Peter’s Angli­can Church vicar Kevin Topp said the 10am ser­vice will have the same speak­ers, in­clud­ing chap­lain Padre Zane El­liot from the armed forces, He is look­ing for­ward to speak­ing and will read from Psalm 46, which talks about earth­quakes, said Topp.

‘‘He has been to lots of other places in the world where there has been dis­as­ters, and has been in­volved in the Christchurch earth­quakes.

’’It will help peo­ple to get over the sad­ness of what has hap­pened in their lives.’’

St Paul’s Pres­by­te­rian Church par­ish clerk Marie David­son said it will be a chance to bring the com­mu­nity to­gether.

Mayor Win­ston Gray will also ad­dress the gath­er­ing.

Gray said it was an op­por­tu­nity for the com­mu­nity to come back to­gether across the dif­fer­ent churches in a pub­lic event, and a chance to so­cialise.

‘‘Peo­ple will be think­ing about the events last year and it is a good op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to re­con­nect.’’

There will be prayers and song and after the get-to­gether ev­ery­one is in­vited to a sausage siz­zle.

‘‘When it is all over peo­ple will be talk­ing about their ex­pe­ri­ences.’’

Coops said there are a lot of sto­ries out there.

‘‘This will give them an op­por­tu­nity to talk about it.’’

If wet the ser­vice will be held in the Me­mo­rial Hall.

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