Media Release—Thursday 12 December 2019
|Putting ‘Church’ back into ‘Church Lane’, the new Merivale-St Albans Parish Church, All Souls, is being consecrated this Saturday. The building witnesses to the joining of two churches – the Chapel space (above) features windows from both previous churches. Credit: supplied|
On Saturday 14 December 2019, at 10am, Anglican Archbishop Philip Richardson and Christchurch Anglican Bishop Peter Carrell will jointly consecrate All Souls Church in Merivale.
In December one year ago, All Souls’ Church, in the Parish of Merivale-St Albans, opened its doors for all to see the newly built facility, which was blessed, and held its first Sunday Service. One year on, the church is once again celebrating. It is being consecrated. A consecration is a rare event and occurs when a new Church build is complete and free of debt. At this point the Church may be consecrated to the glory of God.
The second church to be built from scratch post-quake, and the first to be consecrated, the opening of All Souls last year offered a sign of hope and renewal for the Diocese. Even today, a number of churches and other buildings are still to be, or are being, repaired.
The Vicar, Rev’d Megan Herles-Mooar says that since the quakes had damaged two neighbouring churches, a desire grew to create something new from the old, taking the best of the old and injecting something fresh and appropriate for the 21st century. So the two parishes chose to merge.
“St Mary’s Merivale and St Matthew’s St Albans, both had lovely churches, neither of which could be reinstated. Now we are truly one parish, with members of both previous churches worshiping here, but also with at least one third new members who have come to this church from the community,” says Rev’d Megan. “So what was two separate identities initially, is now one body, and we’re already doing new, community focused initiatives in the area.”
On Saturday, Bishop Carrell and Archbishop Richardson will share the consecration. The building, a number of taonga within the church, and the Memorial Garden will be consecrated (made holy). The Archbishop will preach and Bishop Peter and Rev’d Megan will concelebrate. Former Christchurch Bishop David Coles will also be in attendance.
The service will start at 10am and once all the elements of the consecration are complete, there will be a ceremonial cutting of a cake, followed by a community barbeque.
Also taking part in the service will be a combined choir that includes members from all three worship groups at All Souls, community representatives such as school students from Selwyn House and St Margaret’s College, members of St John Ambulance, former pupils of the Victory Memorial School, representatives from local rest homes and more. St John Ambulance were originally founded on the property.
The service is open to all but the capacity of the church is 250 people.
“All are welcome to attend this service, and also the community barbeque afterwards, but parking will be at a premium, so if possible, please organise your transport ahead of time. We recommend people walk, get dropped off, bus, taxi or carpool. But if you can’t make it for whatever reason, it’s also being lived streamed,” says Rev’d Megan.
Details of how to hook into the feed will be available on the All Souls Facebook page soon.
Bishop Peter is happy to celebrate this new milestone.
“There has been a church on this site since 1866, and although it has been through several iterations, I feel privileged to participate in consecrating this site and the treasures within it.”
“We are elated to be celebrating and letting everyone know that the Church really truly is back in Church Lane,” says Rev’d Herles-Mooar.
Editor, Media and Communications Officer
Anglican Diocese of Christchurch
Cell: 021 2244892 or Wk 03-3686960