St Francis United Church launches with thanksgiving

A dream held for more than a decade for a church for St Francis Bay to be established finally came true this evening when the St Francis United Church was officially opened with a Dedication and Thanksgiving Service.

The joy and happiness of the steering and management committee members and on most of the congregants’ faces was highly visible and some members were quite overcome. Long time Anglican members, Peter and Joy Barrett, from the former Santareme chapel and who now live in Montagu specially made the trip for the opening ceremony.

Derek and Janet Clinton, who donated the land for the church, with Joy and Peter Barrett.


Chris Barratt, Joy Barrett, Peter Barrett and Lew Slade

‘Church House’, as it is also known, on the corner of Walton Road and St Francis Drive was packed out by residents who are members of at least one of the amalgamated Christian faiths – Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian and others.

The church can seat 115 downstairs and more upstairs. Overflows up to 100 people can be accommodated in the communal tea and meeting room downstairs.

The choir opened the service

A full choir that has been practising for weeks under the guidance of choir master, Hilton Thorpe, beautifully sang  for those at the ceremony. In the opening hymn the refrain was “All are welcome, All are welcome in this place…” There were two Ministers for the opening service who each gave their thanks and dedication.

After the service everyone enjoyed the lovely refreshments and delicious food and snacks on offer.

See related post:

History of St Francis United Church:

Everyone was handed out a booklet that gave an overview of the history of the church, uploaded here, below: