Tua Marina church to move

Quake makes move more expensive

GERMARI HERSELMAN
Last updated 14:21 31/03/2014
Tua Marina church
Scott Hammond

The original Tua Marina Methodist Church is loaded and ready for the journey to Brayshaw Park in Blenheim tomorrow morning

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After almost five years of fundraising, the Tuamarina community will finally see their historic church moved to Blenheim.

The 139-year-old Methodist church's journey to Brayshaw Park will begin at 4am tomorrow on the back of a large truck.

Marlborough Museum chief executive Steve Austin said the move was proof of the old church's significance to the Methodist Church community.

"It seems almost unreal after such a long time. We are grateful to the church community who raised the funds to make this move a possibility. They saw the potential of moving the church to Brayshaw Park and we just helped."

The church has already been carefully loaded onto the back of a truck and is awaiting the move in a paddock next to its old site on Blind Creek Rd.

A traffic management plan had been put in place to move the church safely to the new site, Austin said.

The community started talking about moving the church in 2009. The initial estimated cost of moving the church was $25,000, but with the change in regulations for moving historic buildings that followed the Christchurch earthquakes, the cost doubled to almost $50,000.

"To keep heritage buildings like this alive they need to be used and sometimes it requires us to think creatively about these uses," Austin said.

The church, built in 1875, is the second-oldest church in Marlborough. In 1934, a new church was built on the same site and the original structure was moved and used for Sunday school classes until the late 1980s.

Once at Brayshaw Park it would be restored.

"We are considering what would be best for the church's future and how best to use it," Austin said.

The project has yet to reach its funding goal and anyone who would like to donate is asked to contact Steve Austin at Marlborough Museum, phone 03 578 1712.

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- The Marlborough Express

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