Children still stay the focus of church
Titahi Bay Community Church celebrates its 50th jubilee later this month, with more than 200 current and former members expected to come together.
The event, to be held from July 29 to 31, will see people coming to the Bay from all over New Zealand and even Australia, says jubilee committee chairwoman Barb Gillon.
‘‘ We are really encouraged with the response.’’
The weekend will open with an opportunity to mingle and reminisce on Friday, before a formal dinner on Saturday evening and a special church service at the church the following morning.
Formerly Titahi Bay Gospel Chapel, the church has been a fixture on Mana Ave since 1964, having begun its life in Tireti Hall three years earlier.
The present distinctive, offcentre, A-frame building was built in 1971 to replace the older building that had once been a Porirua bottle store.
The earliest church activities were a large Sunday school and a vigorous youth group, from which the church emerged and took its identity. An involvement with children has characterised the congregation through the years, and there are many young children among their numbers to this day, Ms Gillon says.
‘‘ Almost every year, the church has conducted a children’s programme in the winter school holidays, often in conjunction with the other churches in Titahi Bay, with whom the Community Church has enjoyed warm co-operation over many years.’’
As well as children’s events, the church is also involved with the community in other ways.
Once a week, a couple of its members conduct a time of spiritual reflection with clients of the Whitford Brown sheltered workshop which is next door to the church, and once a month a small group conducts the chapel service at Kenepuru Hospital.
Also monthly, another group hosts a service at Arohata Prison, and another goes to the Johnsonvale home for the elderly in Johnsonville.
A couple of years ago, members of the church rebuilt the Whitford Brown kitchen.
The church has a strong musical tradition, having produced or encouraged several local musicians and composers.
Both Felicia Edgecombe and Rosemary Russell, leaders of Wellington choirs, are members, and so was Tawa College musician Glenys Chiaroni, until her death some years ago.
Jillian Bray has been a member, and so has Dr Guy Jansen.
The church loves to sing in different styles, and expects to do so over the jubilee weekend.
It has also produced two CDs in recent years, and appeared once as the total programme for TVNZ’s Praise Be programme on Sunday morning.