Past and present members, as well as guests, will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Trinity Church in Darfiel

Trinity church celebrates

by Ann van Engelen

This spring marks the 40th anniversary of the joining together of the Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian churches to create Trinity Church in Darfield.

“We are the first ‘joint use’ church to be established in New Zealand, with the three congregations making the decision to replace their individual buildings with one church in which to worship,” says Archdeacon Susan Baldwin.

“Anglican priest, Hugh Paterson, talked to his colleagues in the Methodist and Presbyterian churches with the idea of combining into one purpose-built church as all three of their church buildings needed restoration work, having been built in the late 1800s.

“It was a brilliant insight and not a standard procedure. They were ahead of their time doing this 40 years ago, and the present congregation have a good understanding that we are able to do ministry better if we do this together.

“The building has unique features with kauri pews from the original Presbyterian and Methodist churches fashioned by Peter Hayden from Hororata into the sanctuary furniture: altar, pulpit, lectern and chairs.

“They started with a small electronic organ and in 1991 received an old pipe organ from the Masterton Methodist church. The organ has survived three plus7M earthquakes over its lifetime.

“Twice a month there is an Anglican service and twice a month a Methodist/Presbyterian Co-operating Parish service. On fifth Sundays, we combine to worship together, and both ministers plan the service. Our system has developed organically and combines events including the Sunday School and the three women’s groups, who now meet all together in one meeting with women of other area churches. We are celebrating our anniversary on Sunday, September 29 at our 9.30am service, revisiting our history and worshipping together. Speakers will talk about the different decades. We are providing a catered morning tea to celebrate and will have past and present members attend.

“Everyone is welcome. For catering purposes, please let us know if you intend to come. Contact”