Topic: Trinity Church, Darfield

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Consecrated 30 November 1986

Malvern Record no 1319 Wednesday November 26 1986


The first stage in the life of Trinity Church, Darfield is completed. On Sunday, November 30, at 2.30 in the afternoon, the church will be consecrated, signifying that the building is now debt-free. For a church which cost $200,000 to build and which has a replacement value of one million dollars, this is a splendid effort. And to that that this has been achieved in just ten years from the laying of the foundation stone on Easter Eve 1976, and one is caused to marvel. But to know that this has been done in a time variously described as 'rural crisis' and 'economic disaster', by the gifts of the people and through the profits made by those two hard-working and loyal groups, Cottage Arts and Trinity Ladies' Catering Group, leaves one almost speechless with amazement. In a very real sense,

Trinity Church has been built by the people and belongs to the people. It is jointly used by the three congregations, Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian, but it now represents something much more to the county than just a large building. It is a tangible sign that widespread co-operation has been achieved among the churches in Malvern.

Trinity Church has already begun to contribute to local history, and by more than the stories associated with its building. With the installation of the landscape sculpture by Rosemary Muller (Johnson), affectionately known as The Mound, the ashes of members of the congregation now have a fitting resting place beneath the bricks. Places set aside for the burial of the dead are enormously important to communities; this unique and beautiful place is already special, and will become more so as the years go by.

Inside the church are further works of art in the form of the sanctuary furniture designed and carved by Peter Haydn of Hororata. He has taken crops important in the county, the wheat and barley and clover, and skilfully used them together with more obvious Christian symbols to make furniture which adds its own power and strength to the building. The clover and triangle are repeated in the carpet which covers the church and chapel.

The importance of a church building to a community is as much determined by what goes on inside it as by its physical presence. Beginning with that mighty service of dedication on November 25, 1979 when some 750 people crowded into the building, Trinity Church has acted as a centre for the wider community on a number of occasions. Unless the Church can give voice to the people whether in joy or sorrow, the community will feel cut off from what goes on inside the building.

Trinity gathered together many people bewildered, hurt or angry when drought seemed to be a constant feature of our lives, and was witness to a service which confronted all the problems associated with this disaster. Then later it was the centre for a week of study on Rural Ministry by Churches of New Zealand and Australia. Both events had a profound effect on those attending. But Sunday by Sunday, week by week, groups of people gather at Trinity to worship God according to their particular tradition. Others lovingly and faithfully do the flowers, clean the building, look after the gronuds.

All these people are important, together with the clergy and laity who care for the congregations. It is God's work and witness which sustains such as. Trinity Church: 'He has showed you, O man, what is good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.'

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