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Dunedin South
Methodist congregation



The present church in Hillside Road serves a part of the city where there has been a Methodist presence for over 120 years.   The present building was erected in 1894,  and the hall at the back was built in 1953.

The region served includes one of the most densely populated urban areas in New Zealand,  but also includes the residential suburbs of Caversham,  Kew and St Clair.   The church itself is set in what was,  in its beginnings,  an essentially working-class area,  though now there are many units housing the elderly.   The character of the various suburbs has changed to a degree,  but many of the houses have not.   For this reason the flat area has become a place where people in retirement can find relatively inexpensive accommodation.

This gives the Dunedin South congregation a particular flavour,  and its mission to its immediate environs may be said to centre on the provision of worship and other activities suitable for such an age group.   The active congregation itself,  drawn from the Dunedin South and Caversham areas in particular,  illustrates this feature of Dunedin society.

Worship services are held on Sunday morning at 11.00am,  and there are occasional mid-week services.   There is an active Women's Fellowship.   The Hall is used by a significant number of local and community groups on a regular basis.   All the Church facilities have been extensively upgraded in recent years to fulfil the purpose of providing a public amenity.

The Church contains one of New Zealand's historically significant pipe-organs,  built by Telford and Telford of Dublin in 1864 and originally in St Paul's Cathedral in the Octagon.   It came to Dunedin South in 1921.   A major refurbishment project is being carried out by Thomas Rohlfs,  and when it is completed it is intended that the instrument will serve the wider Dunedin music scene.

The congregation shares these facilities with the Dunedin Methodist Tongan Fellowship.   This growing group spans all ages,  and has a very lively children and youth programme.   The Fellowship worships on Sunday afternoons in the church,  except for the first Sunday of the month,  when they join with the palagi congregation for Holy Communion.   As their activities have expanded they have become the most significant factor in the ongoing life of Methodism in this part of Dunedin.

Donald Phillipps



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