Wayne Thompson

Wayne Thompson is a NZ Herald reporter.

Minister and congregation gone, now the church is up for sale

St Pauls Church. Photo / Supplied
St Pauls Church. Photo / Supplied

A 1917 Devonport church whose congregation was dissolved two years ago after a bitter dispute is to be put up for sale.

Worship services stopped at St Paul's Presbyterian Church, in Victoria Rd, several months after its minister of seven years, Sherri Weinberg, was sacked.

Her outspoken views upset conservative members of the congregation.

The North Shore Presbytery dissolved the congregation in August last year when its numbers slumped to fewer than a dozen and it could not afford to support a minister.

At the time, the presbytery said there were maintenance issues with the manse and the church building that were beyond the congregation's resources to address.

Presbytery building committee chairman Brian Hardie would not give details on the sale proposal yesterday but said Harcourts Takapuna real estate agency would listing the church and adjacent hall buildings.

Former congregation member and Devonport Heritage founder Trish Joughin said she was shocked to learn of the sale.

"St Pauls is a beautiful building and has a splendid organ."

Rod Cornelius, of the Devonport Historical and Museum Society, said the brick church at the foot of Mt Victoria was built in 1917 for £3000 to mark the 50th jubilee of the church in Devonport.

He said Rev Weinberg had done a "stunning job" in raising the money to restore the historic graveyard beside the church.

The Auckland Council valuation for the 3769sq m property gives a land value of $2.5 million and a capital value of $3.3 million.

- NZ Herald

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