A heav­enly touch of Hol­ly­wood goes on the mar­ket

Manawatu Standard - - FRONT PAGE - JONO GALUSZKA

A touch of Hol­ly­wood is set to leave small-town New Zealand.

The dream of a tele­vi­sion and movie ex­ec­u­tive to turn a for­mer Ran­gitı¯kei church into an An­tipodean es­cape is over.

The for­mer Mar­ton Methodist Church build­ing in Mar­ton is on the mar­ket for the first time since 2007.

What is less known is the fact the church is owned by Neal Zorom­ski, who has worked in the art depart­ment for tele­vi­sion se­ries like Scrubs and Crim­i­nal Minds, and on movies as di­verse as and Thank You for Smok­ing Day Af­ter To­mor­row.

Bay­leys Palmer­ston North man­ager Karl Cameron said the 145-year-old build­ing closed its doors to wor­ship­pers on Wai­tangi Day 2005, was de­con­se­crated shortly af­ter, then bought by Zorom­ski in 2007.

While Zorom­ski could not be con­tacted by the Stan­dard, Cameron said he had trav­elled through the area some years ago.

He had in­tended to ren­o­vate the church into a va­ca­tion des­ti­na­tion, but a change in per­sonal cir­cum­stances put the ki­bosh on that, Cameron said.

The church had been de­signed The by colo­nial ar­chi­tect Fred­er­ick de Jer­sey Clere, who drew the plans for about 100 churches through­out ru­ral New Zealand.

Some of his churches in­clude All Saints in Palmer­ston North, St John’s in Feild­ing and St Mary of the An­gels in Welling­ton.

He also de­signed the Over­ton farm home in Mar­ton, a cat­e­gory one his­toric build­ing.

Cameron said the prop­erty, on 339 Welling­ton Rd, con­sisted of two build­ings – a church and a hall.

The church build­ing had rimu floor­boards and kauri wall pan­els, while the church vibe was still present through the orig­i­nal lead­light stained glass win­dows, a few pews, and a tower and steeple.

The build­ings needed work, with Cameron de­scrib­ing them as ‘‘some­what for­lorn-look­ing struc­tures’’.

‘‘Jesus was a car­pen­ter so I’m sure he’ll be look­ing down with a smile and giv­ing his bless­ing to any­one look­ing to re­store this once proud church and hall to their for­mer glory.

‘‘The cur­rent owner has given his bene­dic­tion to con­tinue the vi­sion he once had for restor­ing th­ese build­ings to their his­toric for­mer grandeur.’’

The con­fig­u­ra­tion of the build­ings on the sec­tion, com­bined with the two en­try points from the main road, meant there was po­ten­tial to de­velop the site as two en­ti­ties, Cameron said.

Cameron in­vited any for­mer con­gre­ga­tion mem­bers to visit and share mem­o­ries.


Who­ever buys the for­mer Mar­ton Methodist Church will in­herit some of the orig­i­nal pews and rimu floor­boards.

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