On Christmas Day 1977 Trinity Methodist congregation held its last service in the historic Trinity Church. A week later, on New Year's Day 1978, the congregation held their first service in a vacated office on the ground floor of the Methodist Mission Building. (Their former home became an intimate live theatre.)
|The accommodation has changed within the building over the years, with the congregation now enjoying a specially created worship centre, Trinity Hall. Trinity Hall was opened on July 25, 1992. It was given the name whakaruruhau (shelter, protector) by the Huirapa runanga who blessed the sanctuary at an early morning service. The name signifies close relationship between the tangata whenua and the Methodist church in Otago. The picture shows the entrance to Trinity Hall at the extreme right.|
The members of the congregation come from the whole of the Dunedin area, rather than from a natural local community. Worship has a strong participatory character. The members know one another very well and have strong ties of fellowship. Pastoral responsibility lies with the whole congregation rather than simply with the presbyter. The congregation is the Leaders' Meeting. Sunday School / Bible Class is part of worship, the whole congregation participating, and leadership on a monthly basis is organized by a convener. Activity work is shared with the congregation at the end of the service. The congregation has been enriched and influenced by its multi-cultural make-up. Members have a special interest in the social service of the Mission. There is a measure of ecumenical involvement with other central city churches. A number of visitors find their way to Trinity Hall, as do students from Malaysia and the Pacific. The location, while not obvious to the passerby, gives the sense of involvement with the life of the city at its heart.
Radio ChurchThis historic programme of the Dunedin Methodist Mission is broadcast over Hills AM 1575AM (Community Access Radio) each Sunday morning at 8.30 a.m. The first broadcast went out on April 9, 1934, through a station known as 4ZM. The Rev'd Leslie Neale, or Uncle Leslie as he was fondly called, was a familiar voice on The Radio Church of the Helping Hand for 20 years. Successive Mission Superintendents and associate ministers continued the programme, adjusting to changes of name and venue for the radio station.
It is now 63 years since Radio Church first went on air. There was a break of three and a half years from 1990, when a particular host station decided to end all Sunday morning religious broadcasts. The present half-hour weekly Sunday programme comprises hymns, prayers, message, church information and news. It is aimed at the elderly who are no longer able to attend their church of a Sunday.
Due to the community nature of the radio facility, the minister is required also to be the 'disc jockey'. Keeping the Radio Church library up-to-date is difficult. Available recordings, CDs, and tapes of church music are inclined to be repetitive and go down a traditional path. If anyone knows of available new material I would be glad to hear of it.