St Chad's Church off Great North Rd is set to go up for sale.

Selling the church and continuing with monthly services at St Oswald's are among decisions made by Whanganui Anglicans as they adjust to reduced circumstances.

The city's four parishes have been discussing changes that will sustain the faith into the future in the face of ongoing building maintenance costs, a lack of staff and money, and ageing congregations.

The aim is to "form a single unified parish from which we will have energy, giftedness and resource to pioneer new congregations and missional expressions", a church document says.


A first set of recommendations was put before parishioners late last year. Since then there had been a lot of discussion, said Christ Church Parish vicar Stuart Goodin.

The discussion resulted in some changes to the recommendations, which were put before the governance groups of the city's four Anglican parishes on April 12. They voted to accept them.

It was a clear vote but not an easy one, and Mr Goodin would not say whether the groups were unanimous.

The new set-up would have just one parish, with a new name yet to be determined. "It will be the beginning of a new 'us' rather than any of the old 'uses'," Mr Goodin said.

The city's Sunday services will all be at Christ Church in Wicksteed St - a "traditional" one at 9am and a "contemporary" one at 10.30am, with a morning tea in between to bring the two groups together.

The district's three country churches - St Mary's at Upokongaro, St John's at Matarawa and St Oswald's at Westmere - will continue to have monthly communion services.

St Chad's, which was to have been moved to the central city, will now have its site and building sold, subject to the approval of parishioners and an agreement about what will be done with the proceeds.

"We acknowledge the overwhelming feedback to not waste money by relocating St Chad's building to Wicksteed St," the recommendation document said.

Also to be sold are St Laurence's in Aramoho and St Barnabas' on Durie Hill.

There are three more larger, suburban Anglican churches in Whanganui.

All Saints in Whanganui East will continue to have Wednesday services for now. St Luke's in Castlecliff will continue to develop a mission hub and St Peter's in Gonville will continue to have Wednesday services.

St Peter's may well become the main Anglican church for the city for a year or more, while the Christ Church building is earthquake-strengthened.

There was still a lot to organise, Mr Goodin said. Each parish had to meet and agree to the amalgamation. Churches closing had to have farewell services of deconsecration, and objects like communion vessels and altar cloths had to be researched and disposed of.

The amalgamation of the parishes is due to be completed by July 1.