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Clergy gather at the 150 year celebration of Methodism in Blenheim


Blenheim Methodists Celebrate 150 Years.

Over two weekends at the end of March, Methodists in Blenheim celebrated 150 years since the first Methodist Church was opened in Grove Road on 9th April 1865.

On Saturday 21st March a coach load of interested folk, travelled around the area, visiting sites where Methodist Churches are or have been. Morning Tea was at Ngati Rurua Centre. This was a special time. Barry Holdaway gave a commentary on the historical background to all the places visited.

Friday evening 27th March commenced the weekend where those from away had come back to Blenheim to celebrate. The evening was spent in reminiscences of Sunday School, Bible Class, Easter Camps and Girls and Boys Brigades. No one had forgotten the words of 'Wide,Wide as the Ocean'.

On Saturday morning, many took the opportunity to visit the old Wesley Parsonage in High Street, which is now a Law Office.

Saturday afternoon was a musicial afternoon, the highlight being Barrie Parker playing the 1905 Hobday Organ with Noel Frater on the bagpipes.  All around the walls of the Auditorium were displays of old photos, papers, photo albums and Brigade uniforms. A lot of interest was shown in these displays.

Saturday night was our celebration dinner with over 120 sitting down to a catered meal in The Foundry. We welcomed the President Rev. Tovia Aumua, Vice President Dr. Arapera Ngaha, General Secretary Rev. David Bush and Synod Superintendent Rev. Jill van de Geer. Mrs. Linda Patchett, our oldest member, was invited to cut the celebration cake.

On Sunday morning, the Auditorium was packed for the service of celebration. Morning Tea followed to bring an end to the celebrations.

This was a weekend of happy memories and pride. For over 150 years the Methodist presence in Blenheim has proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ to generations of Marlborough people.              


Maureen Joyce.


 Bus trip to Marlborough Methodist Churches                                                Gathering on Saturday afternoon in the Auditorium 




A special feature was the number of clergy who returned for the weekend events.

Revs Robert Allan, Norm West, Gloria Zanders, Wallis Browne & Ken Russell joined the current minister Ian Boddy and our local supernumerary David Stubbs. David is now wheelchair bound, but he had a glorious time greeting everyone enthusiastically.  

The President Rev Tovia Aumua gave our main address at the Saturday dinner, followed by a most humourous recount from Robert Allan. Jill van de Geer introduced David Bush as Blenheim's most famous son, and he won over the hearts of the young Tongans when he said that they would be leaders in the Methodist church in 50 years time.

Vice President Dr Bella Ngaha doubled with Ian Boddy for the reflections on Sunday morning. Being Palm Sunday Ian chose the theme "Out on the street", based on NZ group Space Waltz's song from 1974. Bella recalled another song with the same title sung by Bruce Springsteen, but by the time we gathered for lunch at the clubs of Marlborough, everyone was discussing Ian's contention that in Mark's gospel Jesus promised to return the donkey but instead left the poor animal 'out on the street'. However, Tovia then stole the show and will be remembered forever for specifically praying that our New Zealand cricketers defeat the Aussies!

A fun time was had by all at the most successful Blenheim 150 year celebrations.


Ian Boddy