New Zealand Methodist Church OnLine History
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Cooperating Parish of Chartwell 1966-92

The major motivation for the establishment of a joint venture by Anglicans, Methodists and Presbyterians in Chartwell was the belief that the Church could do a better job if its various sectors worked together.

A core group of Christians in the new suburb (just beginning in the mid-sixties to be called "Chartwell") decided that if they worked together in one church they could:

. provide a natural focus for Christian worship and action in the neighbourhood

. develop as an integral part of the suburb as it grew

. develop faster together than they could as separate denominational ventures

. make a better use of their combined resources.

This concept was in accord with what was then the growing enthusiasm in the national churches for progress towards unity: a response to the prayer of Jesus that we might all be one.

A quarter of a century ago, Hamilton was changing rapidly from a rural town to one of New Zealand's major urban centres. (It is hard now to remember that in the mid-sixties Hamilton still had a railway line crossing the main street, and all traffic came to a stop every time a train went by.) Chartwell was a new growth area made up of competing separately-named subdivisions. But some residents felt that a wider vision was needed and they sought in numerous ways to develop a common identity for this northeastern sector of Hamilton.

So it was in the context of local concern for both church unity and community identity that Chartwell Church was conceived and born.