Newspaper Article 1996 – The end of the journey

The Hawkes Bay Herald-Tribune, Thursday, March 14, 1996

SACRED HEART PARISH

The end of the journey

The opening of the new Sacred Heart Church on Saturday, March 16 has been “a very long and arduous journey” since fire destroyed the historic George Sollitt designed wooden church on Fathers Day, September 6, 1992.

Father Paul Duncan says the opening will be the climax of his priestly life.

“It’s almost like the end of a journey for me. I never dreamed I would be involved in the building of a new church.

“The journey has been so long and so arduous… I go over every night and look at it. I’m spellbound by it. Drivers slow down looking at it.

“I’m sure it will become an oasis in the heart of the city for prayer, unity and love, as the old church was, and not just for Catholics.

“We’ve built for the next 200 years – all what is needed for the future is incorporated in it.

“I want to pay tribute to the four Marist Brothers, particularly Brother Pius, who had to live with me and all the pressure living through the fire. Also Brian Coe who on the morning of the fire sat there saying ‘we’ve got to rebuild’. The Mackersey workers, under the leadership of Robin Oliver, have been tremendous – always harmonious and respectful,” Father Duncan said.

The diocesan bishop, the Most Reverend Peter Cullinane, presides over the 2pm service where sacred vessels, saved from the fire, will be brought into the new church.

He will anoint the altar with oil for blessing [chrism oil] as well as the four pillars of the church.

The new church allows for Vatican II directives [to break down barriers between priests and worshippers] that the old church could never accommodate as well, Father Duncan said.

Architect Paris Magdalinos won the contract in 1993 and redrew to a strict brief creating an auditorium-style worship centre where no altar rails divide. No final figures on the cost are in but it is within the first estimates of $1.7m, building committee spokesman Peter Giddens said. A deficit of around $17,000 is expected to still need to be raised

Inside the 830 sq m church are a large gathering room with day chapel to seat 60, the tabernacle room, a reconciliation room [confessional], kitchen and dressing room, all off the entrance.

The church proper seats 405. New Zealand kairuru stone is used on columns and the full immersion baptismal font. African black and red granite have been made for the altar. All woodwork and furniture is rimu.

Hawke’s Bay artisans have contributed. Jacob Scott designed the stained glass window made by David Nichol. The Catholic Maori community has made tukutuku panels framed with carving by Emmanuel Dunn.

Celebrations and opportunities for non Catholics to see the church are planned over the next three months. Each Sunday this month there will be guided tours between 1pm and 4pm.

Actor Larry Burns and pianist Marie Stothart are giving a lunchtime Scripture and Spoken word performance on Monday, March 18. They perform again on Thursday at noon with Jo Christensen singing.

The Pakipaki Maori Culture group performs on Tuesday lunch time, and the Hawkes Bay Polytechnic Performing arts school vocal students sing at lunch on Wednesday, March 20.

The Woodford House choir is giving a lunch time concert on Friday.

In May the Wellington choir, St Mary of Angels performs, as well as the Hastings Linden Singers and Napier Anglican Cathedral Choir

A special concert from the New Zealand National Youth Choir is on June 2 at 2pm.

Photo captions –

The new Sacred Heart Church in Heretaunga Street east, Hastings . . . an oasis in the heart of the city.

The old weatherboard church which was destroyed by fire on September 6, 1992.

Fr Duncan . . . opening will be climax of his priestly life.

The interior of the new church.

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Original digital file

CoeB984_Church_004.jpg

Business / Organisation

Sacred Heart Church, Hastings

Date published

14 March 1996

Format of the original

Newspaper article

Publisher

The Hawke's Bay Herald-Tribune

Acknowledgements

Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today

People

  • Larry Burns
  • Jo Christensen
  • Brian Coe
  • Most Reverend Peter Cullinane
  • Father Paul Duncan
  • Emmanuel Dunn
  • Paris Magdalinos
  • David Nichol
  • Robin Oliver
  • Brother Pius
  • Jacob Scott
  • George Sollitt
  • Marie Stothart

Accession number

984/1381/37936

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