Those participating in the Lent Course have been challenged hearing about the St David’s Naenae housing project, including building houses on Church land. But did you know that a new housing community was opened late last year in Richmond, Christchurch? This is an exciting collaboration between our Anglican Care, the Christchurch Methodist Mission (CMM), the Methodist Church and the Otautahi Community Housing Trust. Anglican Care has leased the site of what was the Churchill Courts aged care village prior to the Canterbury earthquakes, to the Christchurch Methodist Mission for the next 34 years.

CMM has built 15 houses on the site and invested in a community house, providing a common area for families to gather and develop relationships and as the base for a dedicated community development worker for the complex. It is envisaged that the community house will also be used for activities such as playgroups, homework clubs, courses and gardening clubs.

Each of the 15 families received a ‘Welcome Home’ basket full of household supplies and appliances to assist them with settling in – from soap bars and food, to toasters, kettles and TVs – and some treats!

The official opening of the housing community was attended by Anglican Bishops Richard Wallace (who had blessed the land) and Peter Carrell, Anglican Care Chairperson Moka Ritchie, Christchurch Methodist Mission Kaumātua Dr Terry Ryan, Executive Director Jill Hawkey and Chairperson Pam Sharpe, Hon Poto Williams (Associate Minister for Public Housing), other local MPs, City Councillors, and representatives from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. Site developers and construction workers were also present, as were neighbours and future tenants.

Some of those present expressed their hopes for this new housing community?

  • “That it be a great place for children to grow up, where kids can play together in this amazing park-like setting, where relationships are built and where all families receive the support that they need to thrive.” – Pam Sharpe
  • “That it be a place where you feel secure, well supported and in which you and your tamariki are able to thrive.” – Jill Hawkey

Material used in this article from the Christchurch Methodist Mission newsletter ‘Cycles of Hope’ is acknowledged.

Rev Jenny Wilkens