Temuka's Trinity Presbyterian Church, a prominent landmark in the town for 112 years, has been demolished because of earthquake damage.
Demolition workers spent yesterday bulldozing the church after it sustained irreparable damage in the September 4, 2010 earthquake.
Church treasurer Colin Walker said demolition was the only option, after the building sustained severe cracking and movement of the back wall, which had become separated from the rest of the building.
"It just became too big of a hurdle [to fix]."
He was on site yesterday, watching the demolition process unfold, a task which was completed within hours.
"It doesn't take a long time to bring it down, but it was a long time putting it up," he said.
"It's a sad day for the church, absolutely, but you can't do anything about it, unfortunately."
However, not all was lost. Workers spent an hour and a half retrieving the bell from the tower before beginning work to bring the church down in the early afternoon.
Mr Walker said he did not know what the empty land would be used for, but plans were already under way to expand its multi-purpose building, which was built on site eight years ago.
- The Timaru Herald