Sarah Foy
Cross-cultural church ceremony on South Taranaki marae

Three cultures came together when a Tongan woman and a Māori man were ordained on a South Taranaki marae on Saturday July 15. The ordination ceremony for the Rev Mele Prescott and the Rev Vincent Nuku took place at Aotearoa Marae, Okaiawa. Among those officiating were Mele’s uncle Dr Winston Halapua, who is both the Archbishop of Polynesia, and one of three co-Archbishops of the Anglian Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. Also involved was The Most Reverend Philip Richardson,... read more

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Digging down to survey soil strength

Hamilton-based Beca geotechnical engineer, Madeleine Prebble and Jordan Young, an undergraduate in mechanical engineering. A geotech study into the land surrounding the Taranaki Cathedral was successfully completed this month and early results are promising, says Jenny Goddard. “Part of the reason is the potential for liquefaction and seismic-induced settlement of the site when there’s an earthquake,” Jenny explains. “We are cautiously optimistic.” The work is essential in order to determine how stable the soil is prior to the $15 million earthquake... read more

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Ground labour uncovering grave details

Taranaki archaeologist Ivan Bruce (pictured above) is fully engrossed with the complex job he has been tasked with - to help understand the historic Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary and its grounds. You might say his work will be a labour of love. “It is a highly significant and historic church – you can’t just rip into it. I am keen to see the building and everything associated with it looked after because of its significance to Taranaki.” His... read more

Shoulder-tapping led to vital project role

The Very Reverend Dean Peter Beck is deeply passionate about leading the charge to restore Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary’s. His dream is to see the completed $15m project, named The Cathedral Project – A Taranaki Taonga, open its doors to all. “The cathedral will be a place of welcome for all faiths and none,” predicts Dean Peter, pictured above on the left with Archbishop Philip Richardson. “This building will have its way with you. I do sense the... read more

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

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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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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