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Church renovation nearing completion

Tuesday 4 July 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Culture, National


Church renovation nearing completion
Avarua CICC Ekalesia Secretary and Project Manager Makirere Poila, New Zealand “Woodstar” crew: Elosita (Rusty) Pulepule, Pritchard Pritchard and Kieran Rowe, put together the new church altar. MELINA ETCHES/23062904

The Avarua (Cook Islands Christian Church) CICC Ziona Tapu is nearing the completion of an extensive renovation project that has breathed new life into the historic church.

With attention to detail, the major restoration efforts have included the installation of a striking new altar which was shipped in from New Zealand constructed by Woodstar - award winning cabinetmakers and joiners of distinction, Auckland.

Woodstar crew - Elosita (Rusty) Pulepule, Cook Islander Pritchard Pritchard and Kerry Rowe, flew in from Auckland last week to put together the specially made altar.

Secretary of the Avarua Ekalesia and project manager for the church rebuild, Makirere Poila said: “The new altar, pews, windows and doors are finally getting done, we are doing the finishing touches and everything is looking good for the reopening next week.”

The new lights and chandeliers have been installed, the upstairs floor and its furnishings has been completed, and parishioners will soon be seated in new pews that have soft foam cushions which will make sitting longer more comfortable.

Outside in the church yard, workers and families have been cleaning, smoothing and painting the graves of their loved ones with a fresh coat of white paint.

The project has been a collaborative effort involving skilled craftsmen, congregation and community members who are dedicated to preserving the church while introducing modern structures.

Approximately $800,000 has been spent on the re-design of the church.

Donations from CICC Ekalesia members, Cook Islanders and families in Australia and New Zealand have raised $520,900 towards the re-build of the Avarua CICC Ziona Tapu

The Avarua congregation eagerly await the grand reopening of their church next Friday (Ui Ariki Day - Public Holiday) at 10am, everyone is welcome to attend the event.