A heavenly touch of Hollywood goes on the market
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.