Pic: BTG260421GREEK2 Caption: Pahiatua Rebus Club members with the guardian of the Greek Church, Bernard Cleary.
Pic: BTG260421GREEK3 Caption: The walls, ceiling and arches are completely covered with religious paintings depicting the Bible stories and people from the New Testament, by Stephen Allwood.
The Greek Church of the Transfiguration was a highlight of a recent trip to Masterton by members of the Pahiatua Rebus Club. The church is located north of Masterton.
It was built as a private family church by the New Zealand patriarch of the Pantelis family, kept private for 30 years. It is built in the Greek style with arched entrances and a dome (not a cross) "to hold the heavenly spirit".
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As there are no Greek families remaining in Masterton, it is now set up as a trust administered by Bernard Cleary (an Irishman) who acts as guardian and guide to groups of visitors.
The church has 3-4 services a year for Greek people from places such as Hawke's Bay and Wellington.
Inside, the walls, ceiling and arches are completely covered with religious paintings depicting Bible stories and people from the New Testament.
They are colourful and expressive and reminiscent of Italian and Greek cathedrals. Decorations and furniture are all imported from Greece.
They were painted by an 18-year-old, Stephen Allwood, a Masterton High School student who is still alive and living in Martinborough (and still painting.)
■ The Pahiatua & Districts Rebus Club meets on the third Wednesday monthly at 10am.