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Church on the Hill to unveil new community centre

After almost 15 years of hard work and planning, the Richmond community is set to unveil a brand new community centre.

The community centre, complete with a venue space, kitchen, offices and meeting spaces, sits alongside the Richmond Church on the Hill.

The new building has replaced the old community hall, which was demolished after being deemed unfit for purpose.

Holy Trinity Church on the Hill Administrator David Cowdrey says the project has come to fruition mainly through the hard work and dedication of church members and people from the Richmond community.

He said a $100,000 Building Projects Grant from Rātā Foundation made a big difference to the project, which was mostly funded by the community.

“We’ve had bequests, we’ve had people giving regularly. The community has had this vision, and they’ve given to it. People have been committed to seeing this through,” he said.

“The church has raised more than $750,000 towards this new community centre – it’s a phenomenal amount, and it shows just how much this community cares about having a facility like this.”

He says the facility will hopefully be ready to open before the end of the year.

“We’re pretty excited about the fact that we did it, that we are nearly over the line. To have all these people who have followed and supported the vision has been amazing.”

Church Parishioner Shiona Frengley says the community centre would be a welcome addition to the ageing church facilities.

“Our church hall was built in the 1880s, some of our older church members remember coming here as children,” she says.

“We’ve had everything here; we’ve had first aid classes, weavers and sewing bees, we’ve had book fairs, we’ve had quiz nights, we’ve had weddings, funerals and christenings. It’s steeped in history.”

She says members of the Richmond community were eagerly waiting for the building to be completed.

“People in the community have been so generous and supportive throughout the duration of this project – It’s been such a long wait, and they are so looking forward to having a new community centre.”