New church for South Canterbury parish

St Mary’s at Pleasant Point

A new Catholic church at Pleasant Point in South Canterbury was packed with parishioners for its dedication by Christchurch Bishop Michael Gielen on October 8. 

The new St Mary’s Church replaces the original church, built 132 years ago and damaged beyond repair in the 2011 Canterbury earthquake. 

The small Pleasant Point church is the third the Christchurch diocese has rebuilt following the earthquake. 

Several features of the previous church were installed in the new building, including three stained-glass windows, the altar, the tabernacle, statues and pews, the Timaru Herald reported. 

The new Church of St Mary’s at Pleasant Point was blessed and opened on Saturday, October 8. (Photos: Clare King)

“It is part of tradition to include aspects of the old church into the new one, not building materials, apart from, in this case, the stained windows,” said the director of the bishop’s pastoral office, Mike Stopforth. 

“Some members of the community repaired, cleaned up, and re-stained the pews, so they have a new lease of life.”  

Building the original church cost 750 pounds (worth $213,154 today, according to an inflation calculator). The new church cost $1.073 million. 

Pleasant Point is part of the St Mary Mackillop Parish, Opihi, which includes churches in Temuka and Geraldine. 


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NZ Catholic Staff