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.