Seeking house for Gloriavale family

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by Chris Tobin

The father of a Gloriavale family starting a new life in Timaru has found a job while the search continues to find a home to house them all.

The parents and nine children arrived in Timaru from the West Coast Christian community this month with little more than the clothes they were wearing.

Timaru couple Liz and Graham Gregory are helping the family and have started a Facebook page to obtain donated items.

They have also started a Givealittle page to raise funds for the family which by Monday afternoon had reached $5445.

Mrs Gregory said the family’s father would start work in a few weeks but transportation was an issue.

“It would be amazing to be able to bless the family with vehicles.

“The family needs an 11-12 seater van to fit them all, along with a vehicle for dad to commute to work.

“Funds raised will also be used to help set the children up for school (uniforms, fees, etc), and to enable the family to move into a suitable house.”

Mrs Gregory said they were hosting the family until suitable housing could be found.

Real Estate Institute of NZ local forum leader Julian Blanchard said finding a home big enough to house the large family should not be a problem.

‘People are quite resilient and especially with young kids, they can share bedrooms.

“I’m sure there’s a home for everybody.”

The Gregorys said the family would also like musical instruments.

“The children can all play a variety of instruments and one of them is a particularly talented pianist.

“In fact, the whole family is very creative and have played pivotal roles in the well-known Gloriavale concerts – painting, costume designing, dancing, singing, playing instruments et cetera.”

Two weeks before the family arrived in Timaru two men were ordered to leave Gloriavale for using “contraband” – a mobile phone.

Gloriavale’s founder, convicted sex offender Hopeful Christian, died in May, aged 92.