Church set to find new home

A tree stump remains on the grounds outside Lumsden Presbyterian Church. Work began for the...
A tree stump remains on the grounds outside Lumsden Presbyterian Church. Work began for the transportation of the church on Friday. PHOTO: BEN ANDREWS
Another chapter in the saga of the Lumsden Presbyterian Church is about to begin.

At the end of the month, the church will make the journey to a new home in Arrowtown.

The church was initially set to be transported to Rangiora to become a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house.

However, that sale fell through and it was placed back on the market by King House Removals, where it was then bought by a new buyer who will move it to Arrowtown.

King House Removals co-owner Warren Willis said the church roof would be the first piece to go.

"There’s a bit of work in [moving it], for sure ... you gotta be ... careful," Mr Willis said.

The roof would be removed on April 22, and the rest of the church would be moved shortly after, he said.

Contractors were preparing for the removal, he said. He declined to say who had bought the church.

The removal had not been without contention.

Last year a group called "Lumsden Tree Lovers" chained themselves to one of the 14 Lawson cypress trees on the church grounds, in a last-ditch effort to prevent the felling of them. They stopped the immediate destruction of the trees, but the trees were eventually felled and the project continued.

In 2022, the church was bought by Hanmer Springs couple Claire and Peter Daly, who planned to move it to Rangiora.

However Mr Daly said last week the purchase of the church "fell through".

"We’ve moved on. It was a hard call to make," he said.

It would have cost $1 million to move which was not financially viable, he said.

A Lumsden Presbyterian Church representative said that members of the church were still meeting, but declined to say where.

Building committee chairman Jonny Elder said the church needed too much maintenance and would be replaced by a modern facility which would be a real asset to the community.

He said building would start some time in the coming year.