Church renovation ‘a blessing’

Happy with the new renovations of the Cook Island Christian Church on Avon Rd, Invercargill, are Reverend Taa Karena and his wife Teina.

THE Cook Island Christian Church will host its first service in a newly refurbished building this Sunday.

The group received $206,000 from the Government through the Provincial Growth Fund last year.

Reverend Taa Karena said the grant allowed renovations to be made to the building.

This included painting of the interior and exterior, installation of new carpet, insulation, heating and refurbishment of the bathrooms.

It was a “blessing” to receive the support, he said.

“It was so emotional because it is an old building which hasn’t been renovated for a long time.”

The church was established in 1887 and was known as the oldest wooden church still in operation in Invercargill. A re-dedication ceremony was held at the church, located on Avon Rd, last Saturday.

“It was a very joyous and a blessed celebration and people were very happy,” Rev Karena said.

He believed the building would benefit members of the church. “We have about 70 to 80 members but our congregation is very happy to use the place for worship.”

Ministry for Pacific Peoples Southland representative Lisa Tou-McNaughton said 100 people attended the ceremony last weekend.

“It was a great day for all those who attended.”

“We had a lot of special guests including NZ Labour Party MP from Christchurch, Honorary Poto Williams, Invercargill’s MP Dr Liz Craig and Stanley Fox, who is 90 years old and was one of the original members of the church.”

As a tribute, Mr Fox and the youngest member of the congregation rang the church bell, she said.