CrossWay Church’s grand re­open­ing

Wairarapa News - - OUT & ABOUT - STAFF RE­PORTER

Shut for nearly a year, it’s time for Master­ton’s St Luke’s Church to fling open its doors once again.

An of­fi­cial re­open­ing will be held this Sun­day at 10am.

It’s a long-awaited oc­ca­sion, with the church hav­ing been closed since Septem­ber 2016 as ma­jor earth­quake strength­en­ing and re­fur­bish­ment work was un­der­taken.

St Luke’s build­ing task­force head Robin Dun­lop said it was a re­lief to fi­nally have all the work fin­ished.

‘‘It’s been shut since Septem­ber, but it’s re­ally been a fouryear project,’’ he said.

‘‘A lot of plan­ning went into it. It was a very big job and it’s very pleas­ing to have it all done.’’

He said it was im­por­tant to have the build­ing, which was built in 1907, com­pletely up to stan­dard.

‘‘It’s a big, open build­ing that’s re­ally tall, so it’s great to have it safe again,’’ he said.

While St Luke’s was closed, parish­ioners shifted to Lans­downe Pres­by­te­rian Church on To­tara St.

The two churches have close ties, hav­ing shared a min­is­ter for years.

Their re­la­tion­ship is about to get even cosier. In a move that was an­nounced in De­cem­ber, the two churches will now merge.

Their com­bined name will be CrossWay Church Master­ton.

$456,000 was spent on strength­en­ing and re­fur­bish­ment of the church. $319,000 was con­trib­uted by the NZ Lot­ter­ies Com­mis­sion, while a host of local busi­nesses, or­gan­i­sa­tions and con­gre­ga­tional mem­bers do­nated money and ma­te­ri­als.

The build­ing is one of Master­ton’s most promi­nent struc­tures. It’s on the coun­cil’s her­itage list and has been sub­ject to sev­eral rounds of re­pairs over the years. It was strong enough to sur­vive the 1942 Wairarapa earth­quake, although it did sus­tain some dam­age in the process.

For a while, its sur­vival looked a dicey propo­si­tion. Af­ter a 2009 as­sess­ment found it to be earth­quake prone, its mem­bers had lit­tle time to raise the nearly half- mil­lion needed for it to avoid it be­ing de­mol­ished.

How­ever, a well or­gan­ised sup­port group and com­mu­nity sup­port led to it avoid­ing the wreck­ing ball.

All are wel­come to at­tend the open­ing ser­vice.

.

JACK BARLOW/FAIRFAX NZ

CrossWay - for­merly St Luke’s - Church in Master­ton is set to re­open af­ter nearly a year of earth­quake strength­en­ing.

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