Chil­dren still stay the fo­cus of church

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

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.

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