Old Church with a new owner
Joe Hogervorst says it was divine intervention which led to his purchase of Dunsandels’ Old Church on SH1 and he’s bringing faith back to the heritage site.
Opened on April 4, 1912, the Methodist church on SH1 was built over the course of a year for a total cost of £700. The last service was held in the church on September 19, 1971, and the building become a craft shop.
It was later purchased by the Dunsandel Historic Society (DHS). When maintenance and upkeep became too much, DHS president Mike Noonan said they reluctantly agreed to sell it.
‘‘Luckily we’ve got a buyer who wants to keep it as a church, so it will remain an icon for Dunsandel,’’ Noonan said.
New owner Hogervorst said he saw the building advertised for sale while preparing to return permanently to Australia.
‘‘I saw the church and did a u-turn. I thought ‘this is it’,’’ Hogervorst said.
He said the building would become ‘‘a real born again church’’, with pentacostal ministers visiting from the United States, Australia and around New Zealand. The building itself would be refurbished much as it was, with work to meet current regulations. Anyone who wished to volunteer their time or materials could contact Hogervorst via email at; email@example.com or via cellphone on 021 024 85685.