Decision time for Anglican parishioners

By Laurel Stowell

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RETHINK: Reverend Stuart Goodin
RETHINK: Reverend Stuart Goodin

Whanganui Anglicans are expressing "understandable concern" about a rethink of how their services are delivered, Christ Church vicar Stuart Goodin says.

A local governance team has come up with a set of 11 proposals, including transition to just one parish, possibly with all services held at Christ Church in Wicksteed St and St Chad's church moved to the same central property.

St Laurence's in Aramoho, St Barnabas's in Durie Hill and St Oswald's in Westmere would be sold.

Under the proposals, All Saints' in Whanganui East and St Luke's in Castlecliff may be revamped. And services may be held at St Peter's in Gonville while Christ Church is earthquake strengthened.

Change is needed because Anglican congregations are ageing and diminishing and resources are stretched. The changes would ensure a steady future for the denomination in the district.

The governance team has been meeting with interested parties in various ways. There has been some good dialogue, Rev Goodin said. As well as anxiety and concern, people were also expressing hope.

"People would prefer to stay worshipping where they are, and there's an understandable concern about loss and grief attached to that."

He's not sure how long the decision process will take. It has no set timetable.

And he said it's not clear yet how the proposals could be modified. Costs may affect that.

"Ultimately, the parishioners are the decision makers."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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