A service will celebrate the beginning and the end of a rural church.

Sacred Heart Whangamomona church is celebrating 100 years on Saturday - but the mass to celebrate the centenary will also be the final service at the church.

Dan Murphy says the church services were a big part of his childhood.

"When I was younger, we used to go to my grandmother's house before mass for a cup of tea or after mass for lunch."


A traditional Catholic church, the services were held in Latin for many years, he says.

"It changed to English when I was five or six. It's quite cool."

Dan says people should attend the mass to celebrate the church and to mark the end of an era in the township.

"Those who go will be attending the last mass in the church."

Father Adonic Rancho, known as Father Don Don to parishioners, serves as priest for the Catholic communities of Sacred heart Whangamomona, Immaculate Conception church in Stratford, St Patrick's Kaponga and St Joseph's Eltham.

He says the community in Whangamomona is "wonderful" and the church has been an important part of the community through the years.

He says the mass will celebrate the community as well as the building.

"The final service will celebrate 100 years of the Catholic community and 100 years of the church itself."


The celebrant for the mass will be Father Brian Carmine. Father Don Don and other priests will be attending the celebration.

Father Don Don says after the celebration, the church will be deconsecrated.

While the church is closing down, the building will remain standing he says.

"The building is being preserved. It is a good landmark for Whangamomona."

■ The celebration takes place November 9, 11am. There is a lunch after the service. All are welcome.