Church service brings community together
Hundreds gathered in Kaiko¯ura’s Memorial Hall on Sunday to mark a year on from the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake.
It was an occasion of prayer, song and togetherness and an opportunity for people still recovering from last year’s deadly quake to come together to talk and share in last year’s events.
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 organised the combined service.
Vicar Kevin Topp said the occasion was not to remind people of last year’s events but a time to be together.
‘‘Some of us had their houses damaged or had to move out and our troubles have shifted from one thing to another,’’ he said.
‘‘We, like the mountains, have been stretched and lifted and dumped. Some problems have been fixed but other cracks have appeared.’’
Mayor Winston Gray acknowledged what an event the last 12 months had been but the town was still on a journey.
‘‘During those early days the support and help given from communities and agencies across the country was great,’’ he said.
Gray said he never thought he would go to Auckland and meet the Williams sisters and be given a cheque for $70,000.
‘‘A lot of kindness was shown in an earthquake that has caused complex problems and put pressure on business and personal relationships.
‘‘We need to work together and continue to support each other as well as we can and seek help when required,’’ he said.
Pastor of New Life Church Brian O’Connor and Lisa Bond at the barbecue which followed the combined church service at the Memorial Hall.