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July 4th 2014
Our parish has turned a significant corner this week. It is about 2 years since we last worshipped in the sanctuary of the St Johns Church as it was deemed earthquake prone and unsafe for use. We moved our services into the hall. Since then we have followed a long, sometimes frustrating journey to discern which way would be the best way forward for the parish. As a congregation we eventually voted last year to demolish the current building and build something new, modern and appropriate for our current and future congregations. We unanimously agreed on a bold new design and began all the processes necessary to make this happen.

We received district and Connexional approval and last week received council consent to demolish the old building. So it was with a sense of both excitement and sadness that we bid her farewell after our service last Sunday. We acknowledged the wonderful work of God that has taken place in people's lives in the building; we remembered past ministers, all those who had married, been baptised, confirmed and buried there. We thanked God for all the people who had been through her doors and worshipped in her. We acknowledged her ending and looked forward to the new chapter that was opening for the parish.

Since last Thursday we have been preparing the building for its demolishing and early this morning the digger moved in and our building is down. It will be a few days before the site is cleared and even more time before we start the new building but we are confident that this hails as a new chapter both for our parish and for the community at large and we look forward to what God has in store for us as we continue to strive to grow the Kingdom of God here in this place.

Anne Preston

Minister - Hamilton East Methodist Parish