Church building to be closed

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Kaikorai Presbyterian Church will officially close its doors next month.

The church, which was built in 1906, has been unused for the past month and needed a significant upgrade to make it earthquake safe.

Church services have been held in the hall, above the church, for the past month.

Church manager Olive Lewis said it would cost too much to complete all the necessary repairs to the building.

The tiles on the roof were falling off “one by one” and a balcony was coming away from one of the walls, she said.

Mrs Lewis said it would be a “huge, huge job to get it up to standard”.

“The church is going to cost too much to repair.”

Since the end of last year, the 10am Sunday service has gradually moved up to the hall.

It started with breakfast being held in the hall once a month before the service, after which the congregation would move down the to the church.

In February, rather than moving down to the church after breakfast, the service was held in the hall.

“People were quite happy for the one service a month to go upstairs.

“The operation of the church is still going well.

“It’s just that we are meeting on a Sunday in a different place.”

Since July, the service has been held in the hall full-time.

Mrs Lewis said people were open to the idea of moving into the hall and there had even been a few new people join.

“The people have really taken to that well.”

The hall was “consistently” used by members of the public, such as dance groups after school, and would host polling booths for elections.

Mrs Lewis said there were no immediate plans for the church building, on the corner of Taieri Rd and Nairn St, and a decision would be made at the right time.

“I think you’ve got to give the people time to come to grips with things.

On September 24, the church will be officially locked for good.

The congregation will meet in the church at 9.55am, carry the communion elements up to the hall and lock the church.