Sarah Foy
Family connection inspiration to donate

Taranaki Real Estate agent Robert Angus is one of the first substantial donors of The Cathedral Project. His association with St Mary’s spans a lifetime – he was baptised and confirmed in the historic church, and recalls his whole family attending services over decades. Recently his Mum Avis Angus was the key link, remembers Robert. “She was always giving to St Mary’s and loved and celebrated the church life. Dad was dragged along sometimes.” Says Robert. “It was a great community... read more

Visual tour of the cathedral's interior

Taranaki videographer Keith Finnerty has filmed this video of the cathedral’s interior. Watch it above or here. The short visual walk-around reminds us of the beauty and serenity of the historic building – one of the top 50 sites to visit in New Zealand. It also helps to see parts of the church you would not normally view such as the very tops of the organ pipes and the soaring roof. Note that the video was filmed after the removal... read more

Fundraising campaign launched

The fund-raising campaign for the Cathedral Project has well and truly begun. Donations and pledges to earthquake strengthen and future-proof the iconic Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary are already coming in. By the end of April 2017, three-quarters of a million dollars has either been pledged or donated to The Cathedral Project – A Taranaki Taonga. This includes a number of individual donations of $100,000. Dean Peter Beck says this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be... read more

Office move shows progress of project

A new office and campaign manager are visible signs The Cathedral Project is gathering momentum. A temporary building has been lowered onto the site of the Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary to house an office and campaign manager Jan Mason. The Cathedral Project – A Taranaki Taonga is the name of the major campaign to raise funds and develop historic St Mary’s on Vivian St New Plymouth. The major focus is earthquake strengthening and reopening the 170-year-old stone church –... read more

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Jan joining fundraising team

A prominent New Plymouth businesswoman, Jan Mason, has accepted the vital challenge to assist in raising funds for Taranaki Cathedral’s earthquake strengthening and enhancement project. As campaign manager, Jan Mason will start the position on May 1. She is pictured above (middle back row). Others in the photo are: back Row L-R: ++Philip Richardson, Peter Tennent, Richard Handley, Jan Mason, The Very Revd. Peter Beck, Lynn Bublitz. Front row: Terry Parkes, Jenny Goddard, Cathy Thurston, Mike Braggins The cathedral is... read more

Connecting outdoors in natural surrounds

Church took on a rustic quality one weekend in February as everyone decamped to TOPEC, on the outskirts of New Plymouth. For the first time in many years the whole congregation gathered somewhere other than Vivian St for a Sunday service. Close to 100 people squeezed into the main hall at TOPEC (Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits Education Centre) on Hydro Rd, a five-minute drive south of New Plymouth. For some, it was the best all-ages service they’d experienced. Others commented on... read more

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Telling the old story in new song

A tune telling the story of peaceful protests at Parihaka township has been reworked, with its first public performance at a service in the Interim Cathedral on November 5. Musician Rob Green was part of New Plymouth band The Orange & Green back in 1991 when the city was celebrating its sesquicentennial. Commissioned to produce a cassette tape, it included the song ‘Parihaka’ which the group had recorded in 1990. Fellow band member Grant Dawson penned the words and at the... read more

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Cheap eats grow profit and community spirit

An idea to serve a cheap, flavoursome breakfast while raising funds for charity – and bringing people together, turned two last month. The Community Café in the cathedral’s Hatherly Hall is a regular Tuesday morning (7am-10am) event. Thousands have flocked through its doors, feasting on items such as crepes, coffee, porridge and toast for $1 an item. read more

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Pasifika take on local parish work

Mele Prescott boasts a Tongan background but it’s the Pakeha branch of the Anglican Church she’s starting her ‘apprenticeship’ in. She began as curate and Youth Enabler at the end of November this year, the first time Taranaki Cathedral has had a person in such a position, in recent history. Mele comes to Taranaki from St John’s Theological College in Auckland where she completed her three-year study. Born to Tongan parents who migrated to NZ in the 1970s, she grew up... read more

Planting hope, one child at a time

As a teenager kicked out of home, Ugandan woman Lillian Nakabiri wanted to poison herself. Her family didn’t want her, life was characterised by loneliness and poverty and killing herself seemed the only answer. In despair, she started reading letters she’d received over the years as a sponsored child. “I wanted to die happy, reading them. They gave me joy,” she told hundreds of school students in a moving talk about her early years. The written words from her Australian sponsor... read more

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