Growing numbers set for new place of worship
A new road dug into the hillside along Moir Street is set to be the pathway to a future site of reverence and community spirit.
Senior co-pastor for Mangawhai’s CauseWay Church, Colin Chitty, says CauseWay’s vision for the new 9.5 hectare property includes an expansive community garden with walkways surrounding the new building. The new church complex will include an auditorium with a 1000 seat capacity, meet-and-mingle foyer, facilities for children’s church groups and administration offices.
“We’re not going for grandeur,” he says. “It has to be practical but also aesthetically pleasing to fit in with the surrounding environment.”
Chitty says the road to establishing the location of the new church was a long time in coming.
“We’ve been saving for a new place since 2005 and have been looking for land since,” he says. “Property in Mangawhai sky-rocketed around these years but after the global downturn, we finally managed to secure the land we have in 2010 for a good price.”
An ongoing increase in attendance numbers over the last several years is the reason for the new premises. “The church just grew,” Chitty says. Currently, CauseWay’s congregation is 250-300 strong and will likely keep rising in step with Mangawhai’s swelling population.
While still at the beginning stages of the new development, Chitty is hopeful to have an external structure evident in three years with funding the project proving to be the biggest impediment for speedier progress. No fundraisers have been planned as yet but Chitty is positive finances for the new building will be found.
“We might have to sell a huge amount of sausages,” he jokes. “But really, as the church grows, I believe funds will come in.”
The new building will see CauseWay’s different functions and activities able to be conducted under one roof as presently several locations are being utilised.
Since 2007 followers of the church have congregated at Mangawhai Community Recreation Centre, as the attendance numbers grew too large for the original 1907 Moir Street church. The youngest members of the flock use the Mangawhai Beach School library for Kidz Church, while the older kids are bused back down to Moir Street. An office on Molesworth Drive is also rented for staff and administration purposes.
“It is a big task every Sunday to set up all the gear we need in the hall including sound equipment and seating and then having to pack it all up again,” Chitty says. “Be a whole lot easier to have everything we need in one place.”
Formerly Mangawhai Interdenominational Church, the new name CauseWay was changed in 2005 and inspired by both Biblical scripture (‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’ and ‘For this Cause, I came into the world’, John 14:6 ) and by Mangawhai’s actual physical causeways, which allow distant shores to come more easily within reach.
VISION: Freshly excavated earth and newly-laid road symbolises the start of a future CauseWay Church.
By Julia Wade