Thursday, April 9, 2009

Seaside Church

This is the cute-as-a-button Whare Karakia (church) at Rapaki Marae. A Maori mission was established here and in 1865 when the Methodist missionary, Te Koti Te Rato moved to Rapaki, the local community built this little church on the rise above the beach. It opened on May 4, 1869 with a multi-denominational service with hymns sung in both Maori and English. It’s still used today for occasional services.

Whare Karakia, Rapaki, Banks Peninsular. March 2009. Ajr
It’s a peaceful retreat tucked under giant trees and surrounded by a small cemetery. I sat awhile and thought about the photos of kaumatua hanging at the front of the church, wondering what their lives may have been like in 1869; and I admired the tukutuku panelling on the little altar and the shelves at the rear of the church, neatly stacked with old bibles.

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