First Church celebrates 150 years

Tuesday 26 October 2010, 2:41PM
By Invercargill City Council


“On 12-14 November this year First Presbyterian Church celebrates 150 years of
Christian worship in Invercargill” said Minister Rev Richard Gray.

“This is a significant event in the life of our church, and the Invercargill community.
The development of Invercargill and the Presbyterian church are closely aligned” Rev
Gray said.

On 10 November 1856 Rev Alexander Bethune held the first church service in
Invercargill. In 1860 the first minister, Rev Andrew Stobo, arrived in Invercargill and
the first Session meeting was held on 14 November of that year.

“It is good to remember and celebrate both our pioneering past and our present.
First Church is now used extensively for a multitude of purposes in addition to
Christian worship” Rev Gray said.

The celebrations will be held over the weekend of 12-14 November 2010. A social
gathering will be held on the Friday evening. On Saturday there will be an official
welcome and photographs followed by the opportunity to tour the church, heritage
centre and floral tributes depicting different aspects of the church’s life. A history of
the past 25 years has been published, along with a commemorative 2011 calendar.
A celebratory dinner will be held on Saturday evening. A thanksgiving service, which
will be led by present and former ministers, will be followed by a pot luck lunch and a
concert in the afternoon.

For the occasion the church will be decorated with floral tributes created by the First
Church Flower Committee assisted by members of the Invercargill Floral Art Club.
Members of the public are most welcome to view the floral tributes at an open day on
Monday 15 November.

People wishing to register for the weekend can do so by contacting the First Church
office between the hours of 10.00 am and 12.00 noon Tuesday to Friday, or phone
218 2560.