The format and times of our Sunday Services have changed from 8th August 2021. This was a result of our stocktake exercise which identified the need to balance and streamline Sunday Worship.
The fourth Sunday Service is known as ‘The Tree of Life’ – A new way of being church.
In the early 1950s Pacific Islanders, including many Cook Islanders and Samoans, began to migrate to Wellington, and worshipped at different parishes. Some worshipped at the Terrace Congregational Church under the guidance of Rev. Lloyd Gammon and his assistant, Pastor Roro Rongotaua. Others worshipped at the Cambridge Terrace Congregational Church.
Rev. R. L. Challis who had been a missionary to the Cook Islands was able to bring the Pacific Islanders together in Wellington.
In 1957, with the increase of Pacific Islanders migrating to the Capital, Rev. Pepe Nokise was called to join Rev. Teaia in Newtown.
Rev. Challis would regularly visit to discuss the feasibility of either remaining as a Congregational Church, or becoming part of the Presbyterian Order.
The Niuean community was increasing in numbers. In 1970, Rev. Lagi Sipeli who was an ordained associate minister at PIC Auckland, was called to Newtown to minister.
After Rev. Nokise’s retirement in 1981, Rev. Kenape Faletoese accepted the call and joined Rev. Kiriau to become the parish Ministers in 1982.
In 1986 Rev. Faletoese was appointed as the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. In 1989, Rev. Kiriau resigned from the ministry.
In 1990 Rev. Va’alotu Solofa was called to the parish after serving as a minister in Pukerau. In 1997, Rev. Solofa left to become an associate minister at the St Johns Presbyterian Church in the heart of Wellington.
As the parish commenced their search for a new minister, the presbytery appointed Rev. Ron Bichan and Rev. Setu Masina to oversee the running of the church. Although both had recently retired, they willingly accepted the opportunity, and guided the church through that challenging period.
In 2000 Rev. Tauinaola Tofilau was called to Newtown after being appointed by the Maori Synod to serve the Maori people of the Presbyterian Church. He is presently our parish minister.
In 2001 Rev. Toko Ine from Auckland was called by the Wellington Presbytery Cook Island Ministry to serve the Cook Island members of Petone, Porirua and Newtown PIPC parishes.
To be continued …