Church re­cov­ers from fire

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

The folks at Porirua Gospel Chapel are a hardy lot.

Nearly two months af­ter a fire caused $70,000 worth of dam­age to one of the rooms at the church, ren­o­va­tion is nearly com­plete. Dea­con Brian McGet­ti­gan said the loss of the room was in­con­ve­nient, since it was well used by Sun­day School groups and English for Speak­ers of Other Lan­guages, the lat­ter for four days a week with about 20 refugee stu­dents.

‘‘ Un­for­tu­nately, [ the ESOL stu­dents] have had to use a rather smaller, cramped room around the cor­ner.

‘‘But in four weeks we should have the new car­pet down . . . There’s new lights, a good paint job and a ranch­slider, so it is go­ing to look nice, even­tu­ally.’’

Eigh­teen com­put­ers were also de­stroyed in the blaze, which put af­ter-school and hol­i­day pro­grammes in jeop­ardy.

But a trip to Turn­ers Auc­tions saw the church snap up se­cond­hand ma­chines, and last week a dozen chil­dren came to the church to play strat­egy games.

‘‘We would nor­mally have 20 to 24 kids but those num­bers dropped off [fol­low­ing the fire].

‘‘Still, we’re keep­ing these kids off the street and oc­cu­pied, and they’re hav­ing fun.’’

Mr McGet­ti­gan says it has been a battle to get back to some sem­blance of nor­mal­ity, but the church com­mu­nity is re­silient.

A 43-year-old Porirua man faces ar­son charges af­ter a spree of sus­pi­cious fires in the re­gion over Queen’s Birth­day week­end.

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