3 Wairarapa churches up for sale

churches for sale

After many months of deliberation, the fate of five Wairarapa church buildings owned by the Catholic church has been decided. Three will be put up for sale.

Cardinal John Dew announced in June that only Featherston’s St Teresa of Avila and Masterton’s St Patrick’s Church would be kept.

The following properties will be up for sale

  • The Martinborough, Greytown, and Carterton churches are to be closed permanently, and the property is to be sold. The Carterton and Martinborough churches were closed in 2018 because they were earthquake-prone.
  • The centre behind the Featherston presbytery could be retained, “if the parish wishes.”
  • The Carterton church hall was also to be sold, but there is a possibility of building a smaller multipurpose building closer to St Mary’s School for school use.
  • Te Ore Ore church land is to be returned to the marae.
  • The Lansdowne hall and land are to be sold, and Moore House would be relocated or demolished.
  • Research will be carried out on the ownership of St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Riversdale and its future discussed with ecumenical partners to see if it should be sold.

The Martinborough parish has the opportunity to put a case forward to keep its hall if it can be repurposed, “as a centre for mission.”

If they can repurpose it, the property is to be subdivided and the surplus land to be sold.

Reasons given for the decision to sell were:

  • The shortage of priests
  • High maintenance costs
  • Declining congregations
  • Pope Francis’ focus more on missionary work

At the time of the proposed closures, the Wairarapa Parish Pastoral Council response to a reduction in parishes was “no”.

It lobbied to retain all five churches with a call for leadership on how to achieve this.

The submission said there were examples of where one priest had served five to six parishes.


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News category: New Zealand.

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