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.

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