Church sale communication frustrates Carterton Catholics

Catholics frustrated over church sale

St Mary’s Church in Carterton is due to be sold by tender, with many local Catholics feeling they have been kept in the dark.

The sale is being managed on behalf of the diocese by Peter McCardle, chairman of the Wairarapa catholic finance committee.

Tenders closed 24 February.

McCardle said that parish priests had been asked to review their properties to make financially realistic decisions that will enable Catholics to better focus on sharing their faith rather than being absorbed in maintaining very old buildings.

While parishioners knew the church would be sold, many found out about the sale details only when it appeared on a TradeMe listing. This is despite McCardle promising to keep the Parish constantly up-to-date and informed as meetings and information progress.

“It’s true there was a small notice in the parish newsletter just before Christmas, but everyone’s attention is not so minutely focussed before Christmas”, a Carterton parishioner told CathNews.

“Selling the Church is a big deal, we never got the opportunity to say goodbye”, said another.

Many local Catholics are also upset that two stained glass windows donated by parishioners are to be sold as part of the Church.

They are also concerned the statue of Mary situated on the church façade may also be lost in the sale.

They want to know that if the building is demolished the windows and statue can be returned to the parish.

One parishioner said, ”They (the finance committee) are unbelievable. Anyone would think they are dealing with their personal property. This property is owned and has been managed by the Carterton parishioners forever (albeit ownership is in the Cardinal’s and archdiocese’s name)”.

In contrast to the Carterton sale, Whanganui parishioners are being fully consulted regarding the possible sale of the Holy Family Church. The church is one of three catholic churches in the city located reasonably close together.

The sale of the church will make possible a proposed 1.7ha social housing development providing 111 dwelling units.

The Catholic parish of Whanganui finance committee chairwoman Sue Langford shared ‘the difficult question of how to manage financially’ with parishioners at a February 17 meeting at the Holy Family Church.

The parish had a debt of more than $600,000, she said.

Parishioners have until March 11 to give their views on the proposal.


New Zealand Herald

Dominion Post

CathNews NZ

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News category: New Zealand, Palmerston.

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