Support for new church roof 'in the bag'

22:39, May 19 2014
Josie Barras
PARISH PROTECTORS: Josie Barras, left, and Jean Merrybarnett are organising an event to raise money to replace the roof at Fitzroy’s Holy Trinity church.

Raising the roof will take on a different form at the Holy Trinity Church in Fitzroy this weekend.

The building's roof is wearing thin, threatening to destroy its more than 100 years of history.

"If we allow the roof to keep going the way it is, New Plymouth will lose some of its heritage," fundraising co-ordinator Josie Barras said. "If there is no roof there will be no church," organising committee member Jean Merrybarnett added.

Organising the event is the fulfilment of a promise Barras made to her husband before his death one year ago today.

"He raised the roof [with his voice] many times when he was alive," Barras said.

"He always sat in the third pew on the right and would complain all the way home if he wasn't seated there."


Barras said she hoped Saturday's silent auction and game of "It's in the bag" would go a long way towards raising the $59,000 to $75,000 needed to replace the roof.

"It's going to be fabulous, we're going to have a lot of fun," she said. "There's going to be a big supper afterwards."

Prizes vary from a weekend in Lake Okareka to four hours of horticultural labour.

The Anglican church, which was built in 1845, is one of the oldest wooden churches in the country.

However, the roof is almost 40 years old and there is concern for the structural integrity of the building as well as five panels of historic art that were uncovered two years ago after lying hidden for generations.

Barras said the church was important not only to its parishioners but for all of New Plymouth.

"I've been meeting people who were married and baptised here and they are buying tickets," she said. "But it's not about religion or anything like that, it's about preserving the heritage."

Tickets to the event cost $15 and can be purchased from the church office.

Donations can also be made directly into the Raise the Roof bank account 15-3953-0768012-00.

Taranaki Daily News