Bright new future for worship
St Stephen's Church is in for a new look after the congregation approved concept plans.
The site on Wai-iti Rd is being developed as the "main site" worship centre for the Timaru Presbyterian Parish.
The draft plan for the centre, office and youth facilities needs the approval of the national Presbyterian Church before the project can go ahead.
Rev Rory Grant said more detailed building plans were being worked on in order to go through the Timaru District Council building approval process.
"We're hoping that we'll have the planning stage finished this year."
All going according to plan the project will begin early next year, Grant said.
The draft design of the new centre focuses on multipurpose use and includes a worship space that can hold about 200 people, an activities hall and more parking. "What we hope that we have is a 21st century building for a 21st century church," Grant said.
The quantity surveyor advised the new building, complete with a 200 square metre hall, could be built for $2.5 million.
Money for the project came from the sale of the Timaru Presbyterian churches of St Paul's in Seddon St and Chalmers Church in Elizabeth Place, totalling $1.4m and earlier property sales and insurance payouts of $1.3m.
Grant hoped the new church would be a blessing for not only the congregation but the whole community, who would be able to hire the space.
"We're excited about this new chapter in the life of the church."
While the church is being built the congregation will have to use an alternative site, with Trinity Church in College Rd being an option.
The Timaru Herald