Pohangina Church History

The Pohangina Methodist Church can claim a rich faith history back to the early days of settlement in the Valley. In July 1893 regular Preaching Services were instituted in the local hall by the Broad St. Wesleyan Church, Palmerston North (now St Paul's). The Church section was bought in 1896 at a cost of ten guineas. During 1906 a Presbyterian student for the ministry, Cyril Roseveare, conducted servics. Toward the end of the year, local members instigated the move to build the Church and a contract was soon let to Mr Maunder of Ashhurst. A wooden structure 36ft x 20ft, it was designed to seat 100 worshippers, and was opened on Good Friday 1907. The original Property Trustees were: Robert Brown, farmer; William Chowen, farmer; Joseph Lorin, farmer; Herbert Hart, butcher; Simon Moar, farmer; Alfred Peart, storekeeper; Arthur Wagstaff, storekeeper.

From 1908 Pohangina came under the supervision of the newly resident Methodist Minister in Ashhurst, Rev Clyde Carr (later M.P. for Timaru 1928-62). In 1927 Pohangina became part of the Ashhurst-Bunnythorpe Circuit and this partnership of congregation continues today. During 1985 the congregation decided to embark upon a full scale renovation of the building on the basis of a plan submitted by Rev Richard and Jane Waugh. In addition to a complete repainting programme, building alterations involved the installation of a large feature window in a new Sanctuary, the addition of a small vestry room, and toilet and kitchen facilities. New furnishings were also fitted. The joinery restoration work included the removable communion rails (obtained from All Saint's Church, Taradale) and the feature rimu panelling under the window, which was the former pulpit (originally from the Makomako Methodist Church). Considerable voluntary labour and generous donations made the work possible, and the completion of the renovation was celebrated by a special Thanksgiving Service on the 10th of August 1986.

The alterations and improvements have increased the flexibility of use of the building, improved the worship atmosphere and further stimulated congregational life and fellowship.