Church is born again

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

St An­drew’s Church in Plim­mer­ton cel­e­brated its re­open­ing with a party and the Rev Jenny Daw­son says it has been a ‘‘spe­cial time’’ for ev­ery­one in­volved.

A fire ripped through the 90-year-old church in Fe­bru­ary, badly dam­ag­ing an outer room and much of the build­ing’s roof. It has taken some time for the re­fur­bish­ment to be com­pleted – with ser­vices held in the nearby North Porirua Bap­tist Church in the mean­time.

Ms Daw­son said it has been worth the wait. She made spe­cial men­tion of the main contractors, Freear Philip, who had been ‘‘mar­vel­lous’’. Along with the re­pair work, the new foyer, for­merly a porch, has also been built.

‘‘It’s been a busy time but a spe­cial time too. Along with re­open­ing to the com­mu­nity on Satur­day [Novem­ber 28] we had an all-night vigil, then the first ser­vice on Sun­day morn­ing and the reded­i­ca­tion ... It’s just amaz­ing and a fan­tas­tic way to thank ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity who has helped us through this time. It’s all come to­gether well.’’

In­side, new seat­ing, car­pet, win­dows, data pro­jec­tor, dig­i­tal pi­ano and a re­con­fig­ured lay­out at the front has added a more mod­ern feel to the place. It will still seat the same num­ber – just over 100 – but Ms Daw­son said ‘‘it feels big­ger in­side now’’.

She said they have lost a few mem­bers of their con­gre­ga­tion, dis­ap­pointed that some tra- di­tional fea­tures, like the pews, had been re­placed with chairs.

A woman, charged with bur­glary and ar­son in re­la­tion to the fire, will ap­pear in court on Fe­bru­ary 9. Ms Daw­son said there are ‘‘dif­fer­ing feel­ings’’ among the parish to­wards the ac­cused.

‘‘It’s still hard to think some­one within our con­gre­ga­tion is ac­cused of ar­son, this is some­one who we saw of­ten around here. My­self and oth­ers have to give ev­i­dence in Fe­bru­ary – I’m not look­ing for­ward to that much but it is the next stage in deal­ing with what hap­pened.’’

This Thurs­day, St An­drew’s hosts a Christ­mas carol evening from 7.30pm. Then on Christ­mas Eve they will likely ‘‘pack 200 peo­ple in’’ for their tra­di­tional ser­vice.

New be­gin­ning: The Rev Jenny Daw­son speaks at the reg­u­lar Thurs­day morn­ing ser­vice in the new, re­fur­bished St An­drew’s Church. Some of those who at­tended this gath­er­ing were im­pressed at the im­prove­ments car­ried out.

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