Landmark church demolished

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Bell tower . . . An extender was needed to knock down the bell tower.

by Helen Holt

Pleasant Point farewelled its beloved landmark last week.

Locals watched as St Mary’s Church was reduced to a pile of rubble over the course of a day last Thursday.

Pile of bricks . . . A day’s work saw St Mary’s to become a pile of rubble by 4.30pm last Thursday.

The church has been out of action since the Canterbury earthquakes 10 years ago.

Pleasant Point parishioners have taken services in the adjacent Kerry Hall in the meantime.

The Opihi Catholic Parish decided to demolish and rebuild the church instead of strengthening it.

Parish finance chairman Mark Robins said it was sad to see the church go.

“It’s been an icon for Pleasant Point for the last 130 years.

“We made the decision to build a new church because it would have been $2.6million to repair the old one, which still wouldn’t have been fully earthquake safe. And this way we can get a new church out of it.”

New Beginnings . . . The new church design to replace St Mary’s Pleasant Point. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Treasured parts of the church were taken out before the demolition, including the stained glass windows and the clockface.

These will be built into the new church, construction of which is set to begin in the next two weeks.