Nature's cathedral is the place where Christians can go to observe Good Friday in unity with each other.

Tomorrow an inter-denominational service, organised by the Rotorua Association of Christian Churches, will be held at the Redwood Forest.

It's the ideal venue for the service which, in the past, has been held at the now defunct City Focus, said association chairman Reverend Scott Clifford. "We have been looking for a replacement venue with a bit of overhead cover and the Redwoods under the sails is a place that works. Many people in Rotorua see the Redwoods as their cathedral. They go there to be quiet with nature, to walk, meditate and pray. There are a lot of people in Rotorua who feel that way," he said.

Several leaders from various Christian churches within Rotorua will be leading the service and the message they will be sharing will be "that we may know him", said Reverend Clifford. He said the reason to hold a combined service was to celebrate the unity of the Christian faiths.

Church service for Good Friday when it was held in the City Focus. Photo/Stephen Parker
Church service for Good Friday when it was held in the City Focus. Photo/Stephen Parker

"We come together to put aside the 'minors' and focus on the 'major', Jesus and The Cross. That's the unity of the Easter season," he said.

There will be no Procession of the Cross at Ngongotaha this year. Instead the Ngongotaha contingent has joined forces with the Redwoods service organisers and a combined procession will take place from the Redwoods Shopping Centre, travelling along Long Mile Drive to meet up with the Service Under the Sails at the Redwoods.

Gary Parker is a member of the Catholic parish, and he will be taking part in the Procession of the Cross. As well as attending Catholic services over the weekend, he will also go to services at other Christian churches in the city. He reinforces Reverend Clifford's views, and said Easter was a time to unify with others of the Christian faith.

"While many of us worship in different ways, we have much more in common than not.

"It is wonderful for me personally, because we are expressing the same love for the same God and Jesus Christ and we are in fellowship with one another," he said. "It is especially important at this time when the world is very prepared to look at our differences. We want to celebrate them."


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* What: Good Friday inter-denominational service

* Where: The Redwoods under the Sails

* When: Tomorrow, 10am-11am