Focus on the Land
St Luke’s all light, airy and repaired
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Alice Te Puni
WORK to strengthen and repair St Luke’s Church at Waerenga-a-Hika has finished and it looks divine.
Parishioner Patty White is thrilled with the work carried out on the church, which suffered earthquake damage in 2007, and is looking forward to the first service in the refurbished church tomorrow.
“It looks just lovely. There is a lot more light in here now, which gives it the feeling of being even more alive.”
Mrs White is pleased to see the stained glass windows are clean and can now open, and that the blinking light she found to be “most distracting” during previous church services had gone.
The church is sporting a new roof, entrance doorway, wheelchair access ramp, exterior buttresses and drainage around the building. It also has new electrical wiring.
Carbon fibre rods were used to strengthen the walls, which had cracks from the 2007 earthquake. The rods were also placed underneath the floor to help hold it all together.
Anglican Reverend Joan Edmundson said insurance had covered most of the building work.
“We are very fortunate. It would have taken an awful lot of cake stalls to raise the funds necessary to fix and upgrade St Luke’s.”
Work on the church began three and a half months ago and Mrs Edmundson is delighted with the work done.
“The Watts and Hughes builders were meticulous and careful in their work. They really looked after the place. The contractors must also be acknowledged for their great input.”
Mrs Edmundson said adjustments had to be made during the rebuild and extra work was encountered.
The most serious was the discovery of drummy (hollow) areas under the existing plaster, which might have been caused by earthquakes over the years, but was more likely to be the way the church was built in 1910, she said.
The original church built in 1903 was destroyed by fire. Rebuilding began almost immediately and the church was built of brick at a cost of 640 pounds. It was opened just six months later on October 9, 1910.
Mrs Edmundson said the builders uncovered a beam in the ceiling signed “Gus Farmer, September 18, 1910” and would like to hear from people who may know of him.
Mrs Edmundson expects it will be a full house of worship tomorrow and hopes to be giving thanks for a Ngati Porou East Coast rugby win as people have asked her to say a special prayer for the Sky Blues’ Heartland Meads Cup final against Wanganui at Ruatoria today.
Bishop’s chaplain for Eastland and Bay of Plenty Adrienne Bruce will lead the relaunching service tomorrow.
The popular Fair Trade Chocolate Bake-Off will be at St Luke’s later in the day at 4.30pm.
CHURCH REPAIRS COMPLETE: Earthquake damage repair and strengthening work has finished at St Luke’s Church and final tidy-up touches are all that need to be made, says Reverend Joan Edmundson (left) and parishioner Patty White. Picture by Dave Thomas
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