• June 8, 2017
The cupboards, floorboards and countertops are showing signs of deterioration. Photo: Marlene Singh
A South Auckland church, which has waited more than a century for a new kitchen, is coming closer to its goal.
An annual cultural night has raised more than $3000 towards a new kitchen to replace the one that’s been standing since 1912 at the Papatoetoe Wesley Methodist Church.
The church hosted the gold coin entry event recently, with members of the congregation and the public invited to donate any desired amount for a brand new cooking space.
Earlier plans to renovate the original kitchen were postponed after the unexpected death of church head, Reverend Andre le Roux.
The church only had 30 members when it was first built in 1912. Today, more than 200 people attend both the English service at 10am and the Samoan service at 1pm every Sunday.
“Both congregations are in agreement of replacing the old kitchen, we’re both working together for and doing fundraisers together for church projects,” said the congregation’s minister, Reverend Misilei Misilei.
Christine Knock is the captain of the Girls’ Brigade at Wesley Methodist Church.
Ms Knock has been a part of the congregation for more than 50 years and is hoping for change.
“It’s not in very good condition…hopefully we raise enough to go ahead with the plans,” she said.
“We’ve been planning this for many years now.”
Bimla Naiker told Te Waha Nui the hall was good but the kitchen needed to be renovated. “The kitchen needs to be changed because there is no fridge there, it is very old. The wiring needs to be changed.”
The church kitchen is located inside the function hall which is available for hire.
Bimla Naiker, a member of the community, once hired the hall for her 65th birthday party. “The church does need a new kitchen, new utensils, new carpets, new cup boards,” she said.
Reverend Misilei Misilei said it was well-used by the community.
“We let people from the public hire the kitchen and hall too so it is used by the public for wedding receptions, birthday parties and funerals as well,” he said.
Reverend Misilei also told Te Waha Nui there was an estimated goal to reach by the end of the year but the actual amount needed was still being discussed.
Reverend Misilei wanted the new kitchen to be a Christmas gift for the entire church. He said he believed that goal was possible to achieve.
“Offering is taken every Sunday and recently the total adds up to $2000 monthly and we publicly share our financial situation with everyone in the congregation in our Sunday service bulletin.”
“Like any other church, we have to use that money for other areas of our service and that is why we need the community’s help,” said Reverend Misilei.
The leaders of both congregations will decide what they want to include in the new kitchen.
The cultural night held recently raised $3140.40. More donations from the congregation and community are still coming through.