THE DEDICATION OF THE CHURCH
5th October 1963
The Daily Telegraph, 7th October 1963:
The parish Church of St. James, Mahora, Hastings, was dedicated on Saturday afternoon by the Archbishop of New Zealand, the Most Rev. N. A. Lesser, in the presence of a Congregation of almost 500, representing clergy and laity in the Diocese of Waiapu.
The sub-contractors vacated the building only a few hours before the ceremony began.
Working bees had been busy all the morning digging over the ground and levelling it in order to tidy the surrounds before the ceremony. Live flowers were heeled into freshly made beds and their roots watered to combat the hot sun. Last to leave were the carpet layers.
At 2 p.m., however, when the crucifer, Bruce Taylor, led the procession into the church, there was no evidence of the urgency of the last-minute touches that had been applied within and without.
At the outset of the service the women of the choir, robed in dark sapphire blue with mortarboards to match and the men in scarlet cassocks and white surpluses, led the singing of the psalm, “I was glad when they said unto me, we will go into the House of The Lord.”
The purity of the tone of the new electronic organ was heard to advantage in the densely packed building.
In his address, Dr. Lesser congratulated the vicar, the Rev H. G. Titterton, his vestry and the church workers for their industry since the laying of the foundation stone exactly 12 months ago.
The archbishop said he was not unmindful of the effort and sacrifice that had gone into the building of the church, but all who had helped in any way had the satisfaction that came of a job well done, and done to the glory of God.
Dr. Lesser added that the building of a church was a reminder that God called for His Church to be a church of living stone. It was idle to dedicate a church unless the people of the church dedicated themselves to His service, too.
The lessons were read by the people’s warden, Mr. R. J. Cushing, and the Rev. J. MacLean, of Whakatane, a former vicar of the parish. The archbishop was attended by Canon K. C. Button, vicar of St. Matthew’s, as bishop’s chaplain.
Mr. Titterton conducted the service, which was attended by numerous churchmen in the Anglican community, as well as representatives of other denominations.
The Mayor of Hastings, Mr. R. V. Giorgi, and Mrs. Giorgi, and Mr. Duncan MacIntyre, M.P., for Hastings, and Mrs MacIntyre, were among those present.