Rebuild of Methodist church in Hamilton East complete
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.
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.
"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.
"Looking at what we have got now, no one can say we made the wrong decision by rebuilding."
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."
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.
"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.
"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.