End of an era: church deconsecrated

Anglican Bishop of Dunedin the Right Rev Dr Steven Benford reads the paperwork to secularise St...
Anglican Bishop of Dunedin the Right Rev Dr Steven Benford reads the paperwork to secularise St Michael’s and All Angels Church in Clyde. PHOTO: JARED MORGAN
A service in St Michael’s and All Angels, in Matau St, Clyde, on Friday secularised the church, marking the end of 158 years of Anglican ownership of the 2580sqm site and its 144-year-old church, the second built there.

About 30 people attended the service - the last to be held in the church before it is handed to its new owners on March 26.

The service, conducted by Anglican Bishop of Dunedin the Rt Rev Dr Steven Benford, followed a traditional format.

Dr Benford acknowledged some of the congregation could be angry or upset by the closure of the church and gave them an opportunity to speak.

One to take the opportunity was David Hurd, of Ophir.

"This is a very sad day for me and my family," he said.

His father Stanley, mother Mary, and two brothers - John and Michael’s ashes were interred in the columbarium - a site for cinerary urns - under the wall of the church’s street frontage.

Dr Benford then read the document to secularise the church.

Tenders for the 1877 category 2 heritage-listed schist church, church hall and category 1 heritage-listed stone wall at the street frontage closed on January 21 and Dr Benford confirmed buyers on Tuesday.

The new owners were formerly from the area and had said they wanted to keep the church intact.


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