Rebuild of Methodist church in Hamilton East complete video

Dominico Zapata/ Fairfax Media NZ

Presbyter Rev Anne Preston talks about the rebuild of the St John's Methodist Church in Hamilton East.

The new St John's Methodist Church in Hamilton East is a break away from the traditional shape of a church.

The $1 million, modern design has no steeple and looks like a large box from the street, but members of the parish love it, presbyter, the Rev Anne Preston, said. 

The original 104-year-old building was demolished in July, 2014.

Hamilton's St John's Methodist Church was demolished on July 4. The chapel was built in 1910.
HAMILTON EAST COMMUNITY TRUST

Hamilton's St John's Methodist Church was demolished on July 4. The chapel was built in 1910.

The church decided to rebuild rather than restore the building after an engineer's report indicated it could collapse in an earthquake.

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Initially, not all members were convinced about the rebuild, Preston said.

St John's Methodist Church presbyter the Rev Anne Preston.
DOMINICO ZAPATA/FAIRFAX NZ

St John's Methodist Church presbyter the Rev Anne Preston.

"Some of our members have been here their whole lives and were hesitant about having something new.

"They've attended baptisms, funerals and weddings at the old building and it was hard for them to let go of all of those memories."

However, huge excitement has been expressed about the new memories to be made, Preston said.

St John's Methodist Church in Hamilton East held their first Easter service in their new church.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

St John's Methodist Church in Hamilton East held their first Easter service in their new church.

"Looking at what we have got now, no one can say we made the wrong decision by rebuilding."

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The old church met just 17 percent of the required building code when it needed to meet 33 percent for earthquake strengthening purposes.

"It wasn't until the old church was pulled down that we realised what a poor condition it was in."

The new building breaks away from the traditional shape of a church.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

The new building breaks away from the traditional shape of a church.

Preston said even the more negative folk have become caught up in the excitement of the new building.

"I would say 99.9 percent of us just love it."

The wood and steel exterior really makes a statement in the community, Preston said.

Maata Pouono (10) joins in the Easter craft activities.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Maata Pouono (10) joins in the Easter craft activities.

"One of my favourite elements is the windows, which allow us access to the trees outside."

The church did decide to keep some of its personal items from the old building.

The hanging cross was made by a member Chad Chibnall, who has since died, and his son.

Mele Pouono (10) enjoys the Easter service.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Mele Pouono (10) enjoys the Easter service.

"It was bought from the old building, as well as the musical instruments and the chairs have been recovered."

The construction of the new building has been completed debt free, funded by church savings, fundraising and donations from Methodist trusts.

The church held its first service on the Sunday before Easter.

Mere Toduadua (7) practices her colouring.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Mere Toduadua (7) practices her colouring.

Latu Tupou (10) at the new church building on Easter Sunday.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Latu Tupou (10) at the new church building on Easter Sunday.

 - Stuff

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