Many years ago – 1999 – I spoke to the clergy of the Christchurch Diocese in St Peter’s Anglican Church, Parish of Upper Riccarton-Yaldhurst, the oldest stone church in Christchurch, New Zealand. I was invited to talk about the relevance of spirituality in contemporary life, whether religions – churches – can be viewed through a brand matrix – and how to reverse declining congregations.
St Peter’s church was consecrated on Easter Sunday, 1858. Its graveyard is the resting place of Nurse Maude, John Ballantyne, William Moorhouse, Sir Henry Wigram and many other notable Cantabrians.
St Peter’s plays a significant role in the community, and is connected with around a dozen community groups. The 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes severely damaged the church, and worship has not been possible since.
Good news! Fundraising and restoration of this beautiful and beloved site is underway, and it is now consented to be repaired, strengthened, and some helpful additions provided. Support of course is needed and there are some cool ways to help, from buying artwork to the ‘Living Stones’ campaign to rebuild this special place: there will be some new blocks and stones which you can purchase in your own name or that of a loved one. Furthermore, via a map, you can find your block or stone in the restored church at any time. Following a donation, you will be automatically sent a tile to upload and share on Facebook encouraging others in your network to support the project.
The church provides support and care to some of the most vulnerable community members via Petersgate, a counselling service run out of St Peter’s in conjunction with the Parish. Statistics consistently show that since the 2010/2011 earthquakes the need for services like this has been on the rise in the region. St Peter’s Anglican Church plays a significant role in the community. Join this worthy and wonderful movement here.