St Peter’s church to mark 125 years

Warm welcome . . . Organising committee members Jane Fuller and Ron Luxton prepare for festivities at St Peter’s Church in Temuka. PHOTO: SHELLEY INON

St Peter’s Church in Temuka is celebrating 125 years of service to the community.

The occasion will be marked at the beginning of next month with a dinner for friends of the church and a special service, which will be open to all.

Organising committee spokeswoman Jane Fuller said she had a personal interest in the history of the church, as not only was she a parishioner, but her grandfather was vicar at St Peter’s in the 1930s.

‘‘And my grandmother — who had lived in many countries and towns — always said that Temuka was the place she felt most at home.’’

Mrs Fuller said while researching for the event, the committee had discovered there was a time capsule buried on the church premises.

However, despite large holes being dug, it had not been found.

She said the festivities would not only celebrate the church, but the community as well.

Perfect save . . . The church’s lectern was one of two things saved from the fire which destroyed the former church.

‘‘Our main goal of our mission action plan is to look for opportunities to be present in, and meet the needs of, our community.’’

That plan has had the church liaising with local groups such as Girl Guides (who decorated their Christmas tree last year) and providing baskets of Christmas goodies for the local primary school to give to deserving families each year, and helping out at the local foodbank.

She said the church held special events to support the community, such as Pink Ribbon Breakfast for breast cancer support, and had staged a concert to raise money for local farmers affected by floods.

She said it had been 125 years of worship, care and service in and around the community of Temuka, ‘‘connecting people to Christ’’.

St Peter’s was built on donated land after the former church — then called St Saviour’s — was destroyed by a fire in 1897.

The only thing salvaged from the fire was the lectern and the Bible, which the vicar had rushed in to save.

Volunteers had assisted with the building, including a group of men who lent traction engines free of cost, hauling blue stone from Timaru and limestone from Kakahu.

Mrs Fuller felt they were a friendly and welcoming group.

‘‘We always have morning tea after a service, as this builds and strengthens relationships.’’

The church also holds courses in conjunction with Anglican Care, with recent courses including parenting and grief.