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St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Temuka has had its 140-year-old Stations of the Cross restored.

The 14 images, which depict the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, are made from plaster and required replastering and repainting.

Temuka congregation member Janis Kearns, who was one of three Temuka artists who worked voluntarily on the restoration for about three months earlier this year, said the artworks were “quite fragile”.

Quite a few chips needed to be filled in and the design colour-matched to repaint parts.

She said her “deep faith in God” had been an encouragement during the hours of work on the painting and repairs.

“Your heart had to be in it.”

Mrs Kearns said it was “quite satisfying” to come into the church and see the artworks she had helped repair hanging there.

Congregation member Paddy O’Reilly said the artworks had been hanging in the nearby church hall for about five years after the congregation had to move out of the historic church building when it was damaged by the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

Mr O’Reilly said the congregation moved back into the church in December last year and the restoration of the Stations of the Cross was the first project to rejuvenate the building after it was out of use for five years.

He laughed recalling when volunteers hung the artworks around the church recently, only to realise that several of them needed to be moved because they were not in order.

“That was quite funny.”

The Catholic parish was also working towards getting the church’s steeple rebuilt, after it was removed due to earthquake risk in 2011.

Two of the church’s statues were damaged during a break-in earlier this year and the parish was going through the insurance process to repair them, Mr O’Reilly said.