Com­mu­nity ef­forts sup­ported in song


There was an air of re­cip­ro­cal grat­i­tude at the Knox Church in Che­viot on Sun­day af­ter­noon as Kaiko¯ura com­mu­nity choir, Kai­cho­rus, put on an af­ter­noon’s en­ter­tain­ment.

About 20 mem­bers of the choir trav­elled to Che­viot to show their sup­port for the com­mu­nity in the wake of the Novem­ber 2016 earth­quake, as well as to help raise funds for the church.

In May last year the Pres­bytery agreed to dis­pose of the land and build­ings, that is the Church and hall, prompt­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of the Che­viot Knox Com­mu­nity Cen­tre Trust.

The in­ten­tion is to pur­chase the Knox Church and hall to en­sure it re­mains in pub­lic us­age for the long-term ben­e­fit and well­be­ing of the Che­viot com­mu­nity as a cen­tral space for peo­ple to con­gre­gate in a neu­tral en­vi­ron­ment, while not be­ing a burden to the ratepayer nor re­liant on vol­un­teers.

It is the goal of the Trust to en­sure com­mu­nity own­er­ship to per­pe­tu­ity as well as to re­tain the char­ac­ter and in­tegrity of the iconic land­mark build­ing and it has reached an agree­ment with the Pres­bytery Prop­erty Con­venor to pur­chase the prop­erty at a favourable rate with set­tle­ment date of Septem­ber 1, sub­ject to the money be­ing raised.

The Kai­cho­rus con­cert was at­tended by about 50 peo­ple and choir con­venor Nicky Wood­ill said it had been a plea­sure to help the Che­viot com­mu­nity in its en­deav­ours to save the church.

While Kaiko¯ura had had plenty of is­sues from the earth­quake, the com­mu­nity north had recog­nised the dif­fi­cul­ties for Che­viot and the sur­round­ing re­gion too, with the road clo­sure se­verely im­pact­ing on Che­viot in par­tic­u­lar, she said.

The Trust said the lo­cal com­mu­nity had a strong de­sire to see the Knox land and build­ings kept in pub­lic own­er­ship.

‘‘Our fore­bears some 65 years ago be­lieved they had built this beau­ti­ful fa­cil­ity think­ing the Che­viot com­mu­nity would have own­er­ship and us­age for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

‘‘We see it as es­sen­tial for the com­mu­nity well­be­ing to have a cen­tral space to con­gre­gate in a neu­tral en­vi­ron­ment.’’

A Givealit­tle page has been set up to help raise funds for the Trust’s en­deav­ours.

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