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The First Church has received a funding boost of $125,000 from the Otago Community Trust. The donation will assist with the major restoration project currently being undertaken on the church spire.
First Church announced last week that it would start a public appeal to fund the $600,000 refurbishment of the towering 56.4m spire after much more restoration work was found to be required due to the Church’s Category 1 Heritage New Zealand classification.
Otago Community Trust Chief Executive Barbara Bridger said the Trust is pleased to be one of the first funders to offer its support to the Church’s significant restoration project.
“The First Church is a unique and magnificent example of Neo – Gothic architecture, that we are very blessed to have on our doorstep”.
Our Trustees see the real value in maintaining this majestic architecture for Dunedin and Otago. The Trust is committed to the preservation of Otago’s unique heritage and believes First Church has an important role to play in showcasing the rich history of our region, she said.
First Church treasurer Les Green said the Otago Community Trust's contribution is an excellent start in helping us achieve our goal.
The First Church spire restoration work is anticipated to take approximately six months to complete.
The First Church is an iconic Dunedin building and is considered one of the most impressive of New Zealand's nineteenth-century churches.
Notable features of the First Church are that the spire is pierced by two-storeyed gabled windows on all sides, which actually gives an illusion of even greater height than its 56.4m.
The building is constructed of Oamaru stone, set on foundations of basalt breccia from Port Chalmers and it includes stained glass windows dedicated to those fallen in war and to the Otago Mounted Rifles.
The church is in consistent use, with regular services, including Sunday services for the city's Pacific Island community in both Samoan and Cook Island Maori. The church is also used for a variety of both religious and secular civic and cultural events within the city.
Read the full ODT article here and learn more on how you can help