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In its 149-year history people had grieved together inside its walls and they had come together to share many joyous occasions as well, the Rev Rose Luxford said.
She honoured them all in a standing-room-only final service for about 70 people on Sunday afternoon.
"This church has played its part in the journey of so many people," she said.
"None of those early pioneers who established this church - they're not with us anymore physically - but in a sense they are.
"Whoever has been here has been part of the journey, have experienced much and shared a lot.
After Barbara Simpson offered warm and well-received recollections, the new owners of the 1870 Robert Lawson-designed wooden church, Waimate horse breeders Anna Miles and Michael Simpson, addressed the congregation.
The couple had driven past the old, ageing church with the for sale sign out front - and "just felt the love" coming from the building.
Mr Simpson said their plans for the church were fairly simple - to restore it. Beyond that "who knows", he said.
"I don't think we're all that good at relaxing, so if there's something to do it's going to work a lot better. But we are looking forward to exploring everything. And certainly the people we've met, the couple of times that we have been down here, the people who have popped in have been really lovely."