The biggest aspect to a small, loyal church congregation might be its pumpkin.

The garden of the Ekalesia Fa'apotopoto Kerisiano Samoa, or the Congregation Christian Church of Samoa, at Norman Ave in Waingawa, has ensured the Reverend Meki Lauvi rarely has to buy fruit and vegetables.

But he is particularly proud of his pumpkin plant, which has decided to commit all its efforts into a single gigantic specimen.

Reverend Lauvi said he planted the pumpkin from seeds and, perhaps owing to the proximity of the compost pile, the plant devoted itself towards a prize specimen.

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"I try to grow pumpkins every year, in this particular area, they love it."

He said he is a keen gardener, despite the conditions and "a lot of rocks" encountered in his 21 years at the minister's house, at the rear of the church.

He ministers to four families.

"People leave, head for the big cities in Australia - the usual story of Masterton."