Church trust celebrates 25 years

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For the past 25 years, the Pukehiki Church Trust’s main goal has been to restore the 151-year-old landmark.

While it is still working to fund the $1.1million restoration cost, members and the community will celebrate the trust’s silver anniversary on Sunday.

Trustee Derrick Railton said there would be a special service at 3pm, followed by a community afternoon tea at Pukehiki Hall.

There had been a lot of interest in the event, especially from friends of the church who may not attend its bimonthly services.

“We have different ministers and priests from different denominations.

“We are truly multi-denominational.”

Mr Railton said while the church was a popular wedding venue, interest had decreased over the years as the building deteriorated.

“The condition of the church is not particularly good at the moment.

“The weddings have been dropping off a bit.”

The trust was trying to get the church looking a bit more “spick and span”.

To do so, it had to raise money for repairs which included restoring the roof, front tower, walls, windows, doors, internal linings and the stone wall.

Exterior ground work was also needed.

A summary report stated this would be completed in stages, and the “most critical work” had a $450,000 plus GST budget.

About two-thirds of the funds would be sought from the Lottery environment and heritage fund, and the rest would be raised locally and nationally.

“Considerable urgency” existed to raise the first one-third share before applications closed for the second Lottery funding round in early August. Otherwise, the project could be delayed by six months.

Work in 2013-17 highlighted the need to undertake “a more extensive programme of repair and conservation maintenance”.

The trust received funding last year for a conservation plan, condition assessment report and quantity surveyor’s cost estimate, which will form the basis of the funding applications to local and national providers.